Masks of the World

Menu

Mexican mask of clay

Q:  Thank you for taking time to comment on my last submission.  Those kind words reignited my love for these wonderful artifacts, which leads to the following request.  I have recently come across another mask that sparked my interest.  It is billed as a hand-carved 19th century Mexican mask.  It appears, however, that this is a terracotta mask, which calls into question the seller’s billing.  I am aware that terracotta masks were made but were done so in the pre-Hispanic period.  The seller, who is not a professional, is asking $75 for the mask.  Is the mask a hoax or worth the asking price?
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.  The mask is 6 inches high.  Eric, 1126
A:  Ceramic masks made for actual usage are rare in Mexico. They’re uncomfortable to wear and brake easily. The few I’ve seen were from the state of Jalisco. There are many made for the tourist trade (colorful and very decorative), but yours is different. It could be real. The question is whether that nice looking patina came from years of performance or some clever antiquing. Note the burlap covering on the back. That may help a little, but fired clay is not something as nice to wear as papier mache or light-weight wood. I would pay the $75 to have something that unusual in my Mexican mask collection.  C+

Save

Save

Save

Save

Categories:   Mexico

Comments