Just stumbled across an extraordinary blog, Undying Faces, which is dedicated 'to the history and preservation of life and death masks'. Death masks do have a certain uncanny appeal - check out the one of David Garrick: it looks so much like many of his portraits (complete with the big Huguenot nose!) and the one of Swift gives me the shivers. For a complete run-down of masks from the 1700s, click here.
Above: bust of David Garrick from Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare.
Photograph © Memoirs of the Celebrated Mrs Woffington.