A silver funeral mask or face guard made of hammered sheet metal. Oval shape with slanted eyes and a small opening for the mouth. Some green patina on the front of the mask.
Preservation of the physical remains of the deceased through mummification was a central focus of the funerary rites of the Liao. The mummified corpse served as a sanctuary for the spirit of the dead. This silver mask would have once covered the head of a mummified body. The custom of placing a face mask over the dead was common in Northern China. Such elaborate burials could only be afforded by the wealthy elite. Thus, the masks were created from the finest materials, including gold, silver, and bronze. This mask is made of thin bronze sheets that were attached together, hammered into shape, and finally gilded. The facial features of the mask are simple yet hauntingly evocative. Prominent arched brows meet at the bridge of the inverted T-shaped nose. The eyes are narrow. as if squinting. The mouth is rigid and tense.