Egyptian wooden mummy mask makes $150,000

A wooden mummy mask from ancient Egypt led Bonhams' antiquities sale on July 7.

It realised £116,500 ($150,984) in the London auction.

Egyptian mask Bonhams
The mask was made for a high-status individual

Dating to the era of the New Kingdom (1550-1295 BC), it displays spectacular craftwork.

The intricacy, coupled with the fact the eyes have been created separately, suggests it was created for a high-status individual.

Its exact origin remains a mystery.

The lot was brought back from Egypt by Lady Jane Franklin, wife of the polar explorer Sir John Franklin.

She was a successful explorer in her own right - some would say more successful than her husband, who never returned from an 1847 expedition to the Canadian far north.

When Lady Franklin died her family sold it on to antiquities dealer and collector William Oldman.

A Cycladic marble head was one of a number of lots from ancient Greece that performed well, beating an estimate of £8,000 ($10,359) by 187.5% to take £23,000 ($29,782).

Madeleine Perridge, Bonhams' head of antiquities, comments: "This sale was particularly strong in Greek artefacts and important objects from private collections.

"These later were among the top selling lots, demonstrating how the knowledge and enthusiasm of private individuals has played a significant role in keeping the past alive and helping to preserve items which might otherwise have been lost."

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