VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Gilt silver mask
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This mask is preserved intact. It has clear face outlines, combed-back hair, prominent brow, closed eyes and lips, showing great sedateness. Around the sideburns and ears, there are holes for tying. The mask in its shape presents the characteristics of minorities in the north of ancient China.

History of the Object
These masks were wore by Khitan nobles to protect the faces after their death. According to historical records, It was a unique Khitan custom for the noblility to cover the faces of the dead with gold or silver masks, and wrap the limbs with copper coils. The dead would wear different masks, gold or silver, depending on status, ages and sexes.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Gilt silver 
Measurements
Width 22.2 cm. Length 31 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 10th century ~ AD 12th century 
Creation date
10th Century - 12th Century; Liao Dynasty (907-1125) 
Function
Death Mask fo burial 
Acquisition
It was unearthed in Fangshan, Beijing and afterwards transferred to the museum. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Capital Museum, Beijing 
Museum
Capital Museum,Beijing 
Credit line
 

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