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Death Mask

Death mask of Thomas Dunham Whitaker FRS


A death mask is a wax or plaster cast of a person’s face taken after their death. The practice dates back to ancient Egyptian and Roman times, but became more common in the late eighteenth century as a means of recording variations in the human physiognomy.

This example records the features of Dr Thomas Dunham Whitaker, (1759-1821) a clergyman, topographer and published author and who wrote many books and articles, in particular his A History of the Original Parish of Whalley and the Honor of Clitheroe.