Wax models cast from the faces of researchers who wanted to recreated Roman ancestor masks.
A Strange Custom
Actors wore these kinds of masks to stand in for dead family members during funeral processions to help piece together entire genealogical lines.
Though researchers who worked on this project were women, the right to an ancestor mask was reserved for men only.
These masks, called imagines maiorum, were made from beeswax, which could be an exotic or expensive material if it came from special, faraway sources.
Keeping Up Appearances
Since beeswax is unstable and quite delicate, the ancestor masks likely would have required continual maintenance.