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Cartonnage Mask: E.198.1903

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 19


Cartonnage Mask




Cartonnage mask of a man called Tjay with painted facial details including broad eyebrows, eyes, beard and moustache. The mask is made from a layer of white calcite paste covered with scraps of linen impregnated with plant gum. A final paste layer was applied over this, and the ears were modelled in paste. The yellow flesh is painted with an arsenic pigment, probably orpiment. The corners of the eyes are painted with red earth and the cosmetic lines with Egyptian blue.

This mask was lying over the face of Tjay’s mummy, found undisturbed in his coffin in tomb 275 at Beni Hasan. By the end of the First Intermediate Period (about 2010 BC), the ideal form of the dead, known as ‘sah’ in ancient Egyptian, was a mummy wrapped in white linen with a mask covering his face.

Measurements and weight

Height: 27.5 cm
Width: 19 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Beni Hasan ⪼ Beni Hasan ⪼ Egypt

Find spot

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1903) by The Beni Hasan Excavation Committee


Eleventh Dynasty
Middle Kingdom
-2055 BCE - -1985 BCE

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Cartonnage : Painted

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: E.198.1903
Primary reference Number: 50810
Oldadmincategory: Misc
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 11 March 2021 Last processed: Wednesday 28 February 2024

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Antiquities

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Cartonnage Mask" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-15 22:21:26

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{{cite web|url= |title=Cartonnage Mask |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-15 22:21:26|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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