Egyptian Painted Mummy Cartonnage
An ancient Egyptian polychrome mummy cartonnage assemblage consisting of a mask with a gilded face and elaborate wig with a gilt winged scarab beetle on the top, across the chest lies a panel in the form of a broad collar with falcons at the shoulders, below the collar, another panel depicts the kneeling figure of the goddess of truth, Maat flanked by representations of the four sons of Horus, the foot covering mimics sandals.
The preservation of the body of the deceased was an essential aspect of Egyptian funerary practices. As mummification techniques became more advanced over time, the cartonnage panels that adorned the mummy became more elaborate. Cartonnage trappings were manufactured by layering linen stiffened with plaster around the mummy. The surface was painted and decorated in vibrant colors, sometimes including gilding. The artistic repertoire depicted images of the necessary ritual components of entry into the Afterlife, including the preparation of the body, the adoration of specific deities, and the protection of other deities, as well as the amulets and talismans needed for the journey.
Cf.: A. Kuffer, R. Siegmann, Unter Dem Schutz der Himmelsgottin, Agyptische Sarge, mumien und Masken in der Schweiz, (Zurich, 2007); M. Raven, Egyptian Mummies, Leiden Museum, (Belgium, 2005).
Formerly in an American private collection.
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