Death Masks are easily the most haunting mementos of the deceased. They have been in existence since the time of Tutankhamun, whose solid gold burial mask is an object of extreme beauty and superstition. Here, we present a bunch of casts that have preserved some of the most famous faces to have graced this planet.
Taken at the time of his autopsy and currently on display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington DC. In 2007, Dr. John Sotos studied his face and medical records and concluded that he suffered from a disease called Multiple Mucosal Neuroma Syndrome and had he not been assassinated, he would have died soon anyway.
The bank robber who spawned numerous movies, urban legends, conspiracy theories and rumors of immortality. At least four original castings of his face were made at the Cook County morgue and copies remain popular collector’s items.
Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French. Original cast created on 7th May, 1821, one and a half day after his death on the island of St. Helena. Only four copies of the original cast have been verified has genuine. This bronzed copy is currently on display at the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Reputedly taken after post mortem by Josef Dannhauser. Beethoven suffered from ill health throughout the later stages of his life and the comparison with his life mask, taken in 1812, is startling.