Plaster death mask of Oliver Cromwell
Why might this death mask of Oliver Cromwell been created?
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) played an important part in the Civil War and the downfall of Charles I. He signed Charles Iís death warrant in 1649 and was made Lord Protector of England from 1653 to 1658. When Cromwell died on 3 September 1658 a wax mould was made of his features and was most probably kept by its maker, Thomas Simon. Seven weeks after his death a wooden effigy and wax replica of his face (made from the cast) were laid in state at Somerset House. This plaster mask was cast much later - between 1800 and 1900 - from the wax original. Gallery 2: The Ashmolean Story