G T Embalming

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Nick Reynolds at deathmasks.uk

GT Embalming and Nick Reynolds

In recent years GT Embalming Service Limited has become synonymous with the production of death masks and hand casts in either plaster or metallic resins.

GT Embalming Service Limited now welcomes Nick Reynolds from deathmasks.uk as a dedicated member of the GT team, to carry on the creative work.

Nick Reynolds is a Sculptor dedicated to reviving the lost tradition of death masks and is one of the UK’s leading specialists

Historically, death masks were originally made as magical funerary masks. The role of the mask was to protect the wearer through the perilous journey through the underworld and  also to preserve the features in the afterlife. Although thousands of masks have been discovered, the most famous example is the extraordinarily beautiful death mask of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

The Romans kept wax death masks of their ancestors as a kind of family tree and proof of lineage, in a niche cupboard called a Lararium.

On special occasions their memory would be honoured at ceremonies and the mask worn by an actor. During the Middle Ages the Royal households of England and France continued this tradition .

Here however, a death mask was made as a sculptor’s aid to create a realistic posthumous sculpture and to make a lifelike wax effigy which would be displayed in a room of honour long after the person had actually been buried. By the Victorian times, momento mori were extremely popular and Death masks were commonplace.

No longer reserved for Royalty and Nobility, they were created for those who could afford it.

The invention of photography was to replace death masks as a valued keepsake so the practice almost ceased to exist.

Nick Reynolds and GT Embalming Limited believe that people will again realise the importance of this tradition as death masks are the last three dimensional record on earth of a unique life.

Unlike pictures, they have weight and a presence. They are also tactile and possess a cathartic quality that ca n offer more comfort than a photograph.

Faces,  hands and feet may be cast. This involves moulding the subject with a soft compound from which a positive can be made. This positive can be presented in Plaster, Cold Cast Bronze, Bonded Marble or Real Bronze.

Plaster Casts

  • Faces can be wall mounted or self standing on request.
  • In some cases self standing may incur an additional cost.
  • Plaster or Bronze Casts of Hands and feet

Nick will work closely with the embalmer in regards how the hands should be specifically positioned at time of embalming.

Plaster or Bronze full heads

  • A full head with neck cast is more complicated but can be achieved, but will incur an additional cost.