Lot 27
  • 27

An Egyptian Limestone Sarcophagus Mask, 30th Dynasty/early Ptolemaic Period, circa 380-250 B.C.

200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • An Egyptian Limestone Sarcophagus Mask
  • Limestone
  • 17 by 20 in. by 43.2 by 51 cm.
from the lid of a large anthropoid sarcophagus, wearing a wide tripartite wig, the idealized face with full outlined lips, straight nose, and almond-shaped eyes with long contoured eyebrows and cosmetic lines in relief; remains of blue and black pigment.


Jean-Loup Despras, Galerie Orient-Occident, Paris
David Stickelber (1928-2011), Kansas City, Missouri, acquired from the above in the late 1970s/early 1980s
the estate of David Stickelber (Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Chicago, November 8th. 2012, no. 207, illus.)

Catalogue Note

Cf. Sue D’Auria, Peter Lacovara, and Catharine H. Roehrig, Mummies & Magic, The Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt, Boston, 1988, p. 193, no. 139, for a similar sarcophagus mask slightly later in date. The author writes that it "belongs to a class that evolved in Dynasty 30, and continued in use well into the Ptolemaic Period. Some dated examples were found by Petrie in Cemetery B at Abydos, belonging to Dynasty 30, and later sarcophagi of the same type are recorded from Qau and Akhmim. They usually bear inscriptions down the front in vertical columns, and additional decoration could be provided at the sides in the form of representations of the Four Sons of Horus or other funerary deities. Large wesekh-collars with falcon-headed terminals are also a feature of certain examples of this type of sarcophagus. Many uninscribed sarcophagi of this shape and material are known; they may be unfinished, or the painted decoration has not survived."

A closely related complete sarcophagus lid, 72 inches high, inscribed for its owner Pedienese and dated to 350 B.C., is in the British Museum, inv. no. EA34 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmgv2NihVTg).

The introduction to the Leslie Hindman 2012 sale catalogue of the estate of David Stickelber notes that he "was one of Kansas City’s leading performing and visual arts advocates, as well as an accomplished businessman and a gracious host. Mr. Stickelber is perhaps remembered best by the enthusiasm with which he entertained, whether informally or in grand fashion at his Southmoreland, Kansas City home.

David Stickelber was born in 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri, the son of Merlin A. and Marion Cronin Stickelber. After attending Georgetown University, Mr. Stickelber took over his father’s business, M.A. Stickelber and Sons, which manufactured equipment used by the baking industry. Throughout his life he assembled this graceful collection of 18th and 19th century French and English furniture, fine silver, objets de vertu, South and Southeast Asian antiquities, paintings, prints, and sculpture.

Mr. Stickelber became a leading supporter of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. He was eventually appointed a Mary Atkins Trustee of the museum, and co-founded the Atkins Series which took advantage of his many friendships and connections in New York."