Ancient Egyptian mummy mask valued at $212,500

An ancient Egyptian wooden mummy mask will lead an antiquities auction at Bonhams London.

The piece dates to the era of the New Kingdom (1550-1295 BC).

Egyptian mask Bonhams
The mask was probably made for a person of high status

The intricacy of the carving, combined with the fact the eyes have been made separately, indicates the wearer was a person of high status.

The mask was formerly in the collection of Lady Jane Franklin, wife of the polar explorer Sir John Franklin and a seasoned traveller in her own right.

Its exact origin is unknown, as no record of its sale exists, but it's likely to originate from either Abydos, Saqqara or Thebes as these were the main sites under excavation at the time.

After Franklin's death it passed to her niece, who sold it on to the great ethnographic art collector William Oldman.

The lot is valued at £100,000-150,000 ($141,628-212,442) ahead of the July 7 sale.

The sale will also feature an Egyptian gilt cartonnage (a form of papier mache) mummy mask dating to circa 305-30 BC and valued at £30,000-50,000 ($42,481-70,803).

It's decorated with elaborate patterns and images of gods.

The hieroglyphics on the front read: "A gift which the king gives Osiris foremost of the West, Great God of Abydos, the Osiris, Khes-net-keb(?), son of Padiamun, born to the lady of the House Tab(?)..."

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