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Dorothy H. Abramitis, Conservator, The Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation
Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The "Mask of Agamemnon" is one of the most famous gold artifacts from the Greek Bronze Age. Found at Mycenae in 1876 by the distinguished archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, it was one of several gold funeral masks found laid over the faces of the dead buried in the shaft graves of a royal cemetery. The most detailed and stylistically distinct mask came to be known as the Mask of Agamemnon, named after the famous king of ancient Mycenae whose triumphs and tribulations are celebrated in Homer's epic poems and in the tragic plays of Euripides. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s replica of this mask molded by Emile Gilliéron père (manufactured and sold by the Würtemberg Electroplate Company) is an example of an electroformed reproduction, also commonly known as an electrotype—or by the historic term, "galvanoplastic"—reproduction.
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