Lot 22
  • 22

A Large Egyptian Wood Mummy Mask, 25th/early 26th Dynasty, circa 750-600 B.C.

300,000 - 500,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • A Large Egyptian Wood Mummy Mask
  • wood
  • Height 13 1/4 in. 33.7 cm.
wearing a short beard, the central portion of the tripartite wig remaining, his broad idealized face with full outlined lips rounded at the corners, shallow philtrum, straight nose, and inlaid almond-shaped eyes with long slightly flaring cosmetic lines, the inlay of the pupils and long finely-arched eyebrows missing; faint traces of red pigment on the face, and blue pigment on the lower edge of the wig.


Paris art market, prior to 1951 (based on the custom-made base bearing the stamp of Kichizô Inagaki)
Helena Rubinstein, New York, Paris and London (Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, The Collection of Helena Rubinstein, Princess Gourielli, April 21st-22nd, 1966, no. 252, illus.)
the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Klaus Perls, New York (Sotheby’s, New York, June 1st, 1995, no. 51, illus.)

Catalogue Note

See Sue D’Auria, Peter Lacovara, and Catharine H. Roehrig, Mummies & Magic, The Funerary arts of Ancient Egypt, Boston, 1988, pp.-163-164, no. 116, for a related example. The author notes that “the eyes, eyebrows, and cosmetic lines…are deeply carved to receive inlays, which hare now missing. These inlays of glass, faience, or semi-precious stones would have enlivened the neutral brown surface and given the face a more naturalistic appearance. This attention to detail, along with the superior quality of the craftsmanship, demonstrates the elevated social rank of the owner of the coffin to which the face belonged.”

The wood stand bears the stamp of Japanese wood artist Kichizô Inagaki (1876-1951). His bases are celebrated as works of art for their own sake because each is created to fit its sculpture perfectly, sculpture and base ultimately unifying as a cohesive object. Beyond bearing the mark of such a distinguished woodworker (literally stamped with his artist name, “Yoshio”), works mounted on bases by Inagaki share the provenance of having been on the Parisian art market between 1911 and 1951. While working for Joseph Brummer, Inagaki made prestigious connections among key dealers, collectors, and avant-garde artists in early 20th century Paris and thereby gained his greatest commissions. Auguste Rodin, for example, put Inagaki in charge of creating bases for his entire collection of antiquities in 1912. Inagaki also worked closely with dealers Dikran Khan Kelekian, Charles Ratton, and Paul Guillaume, and created bases for the majority of Albert Barnes’s sculptures.