AN EGYPTIAN mask once sold to a Dorset archaeologist for £1.15 is set to go under the hammer in New York.

The sarcophagus mask of a woman, which is almost 3,000 years old, was bought by Lieut-General Fox-Pitt Rivers of Dorset on March 17, 1891.

It is now expected to sell for £65,000.

Lieut-General Fox-Pitt Rivers (1827-1900) is the great-great-grandfather of Dorset equestrian William Fox-Pitt. He acquired the mask from ‘W. Talbot Ready, Rathbone Place, London, W’, for £1.15.

From the city of Thebes c.943-716 BC, the 20.3cm high wooden carving is painted in ochre red, the cosmetic lines, eyebrows and pupils in black, the white of the eye in white.

Mayfair ancient art gallery Charles Ede Ltd will offer it for £65,000 at the TEFAF New York Fall fair from October 27-31 at the Park Avenue Armory.