Photo by Harry Burton, spring 1926, (English, 1879–1940).
he most haunting image of Burton's entire Tutankhamun portfolio is
this detail of the king's outer coffin. Burton's unusual cropping, which
isolates the golden vulture and cobra goddesses of Upper and Lower
Egypt and the astonishingly lifelike eyes of the pharaoh, creates a
dynamic tension that pulls one's focus back and forth between
Tutankhamun's divine and mortal personas.
Made of cornflowers clasped in olive leaves that were wrapped around a
core of papyrus pith, the wreath—a last gift to the young pharaoh—was
extremely fragile after more than 3,000 years and fell to pieces when