Wax death mask of Benjamin Disraeli, England, 1881

1881 in England
Edgar Boehm

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wax death mask of Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, taken six hours after his death by Sir E. Boehm, England, 1881

Taken six hours after he died, this is the wax death mask of Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). Disraeli was Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1868 and again from 1874 until 1880. The making of death masks became popular in the 1800s, but the practice has much older roots. The first masks and effigies made in wax directly from the features of the deceased date from medieval Europe. The process was expensive and only practised on high-ranking members of the royalty and church. These waxes would be suitably robed and paraded during their state funerals. Disraeli refused a public funeral and was buried privately.

Related people


Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
rubber, wax and wood
death mask
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.