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Those Germans know how to party

Fasching masks

Fasching masks

Q: I’m trying to find out some information about these masks. I’m guessing that they are from Germany. Any information would be helpful.  Craig, 622

A: You are correct, they are German. (more…)


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The famous Barbones mask

Old Barbones

Old Barbones

Q: Wanted to run a mask past you for a quick glance. You may have already seen this floating around, but I’m currently trying to decide whether to purchase. Problem is that neither I, nor the seller have much of an idea of what we have. After looking on your site, I suspect it may be a Barbones mask from Mexico – decorative, 20th century (as opposed to the seller’s opinion of 19th century). The carving just seems so fine, it would seem too difficult for a regular folk artist.  John, 621

A: Your analysis is correct. Let me add a little. (more…)


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Mystery mask indeed

Who am I?

Who am I?

Q: The attached mask was part of the Chicago collection lot that I acquired last year. It was part of a bulk lot of Mexican masks, but this one is certainly NOT Mexican. It is carved from heavy wood, and I’m fairly sure it’s African, but anything beyond that, I have no clue. I made this a present to my ex-wife, who collects African masks. She likes it a lot, but would like to know more about it. Do you have any clues about this one?  Helmut, 620

A: That is a very interesting mask. I have never seen anything like it. (more…)


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Sometimes it takes a while

Chokwe Wannabe

Chokwe Wannabe

Q: I was told by a German collector this mask was worn during tribal ceremonies but, no other information was known. It needs some restoration, I think. Not knowing where it is from means I’m not sure what it is suppose to look like. I have asked many people and one person said possibly Tchokwe but, with lack of symbol on the forehead could not be certain. It is made of a wood front and burlap(?) back with a fiber material attached to that and appears hand sewn. It would in fact accommodate a head but, it would be a snug fit. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.  Carolyn, 619
A: I’d like to help you, but I can determine much about your mask if I can’t see the side or the rear. By rear I mean the back of the carved wooden part, not the cloth hood. (more…)


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One of many Balinese characters

Topeng Tua

Topeng Tua

Q: I have a carved wooden noh mask and I can’t seem to find one quite like it. Some help concerning the age, authenticity and possibly value would be greatly appreciated.The mask seems like it has a little age but doesn’t seem used. The strips of animal skin with hair for the eyebrows and mustache seem older and dry, and the tacks holding them in are a bit rusty. The mask is about 5-3/4 inches wide and 7-1/2 tall.  Tyler, 618

A: Japan is a country where they take masquerade very seriously and so is Bali (part of Indonesia). (more…)


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Guatemalan immigrates to Brazil

a Vaquero

a Vaquero

Q: My understanding is that this is an older Brazilian Carnaval mask, I picked it up on a trip years ago. Old or not I really like the mask and have kept it in the bath looking down on the unassuming visitor……it always gets a comment!  Justin, 617

A: First, a note of explanation. (more…)


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Something creepy

Mexican with pet snake

Mexican with pet snake

Q: The construction on all three masks is the same (one is pictured). Came across these when looking for some antique furniture. They were inside an old chest. I would suspect the teeth are cow or horse. Look forward to your comments.  Justin, 616

A: This is an attention-getting mask that surely comes from Urupan, Michoacan. (more…)


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A rough old African

Africa

Africa

Q:  I have this mask and would like to know it’s origin. I hope you can help. Thank you, Vera, 615

A:  The mask is from West Africa. (more…)


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Different part of the world

Switzerland

Switzerland

Q: I acquired these 2 masks from a 75 year old gentlemen. They were given to him by his father who said they were purchased in Alaska. They are made of wood. The teeth seem real. Maybe a man and woman? There are no markings on the back. The hair seems like horse hair. The larger mask is approx 12×7. There appears to be adhesive on the back. The detail on the smaller mask seems as if it was glued to leather. The adhesive looks like liquid nails.  Sharyl, 614

A: At first I thought they might be Native American because I have seen a old, Northern Iroquois masks that looked a little like yours. (more…)


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It’s fix-up time

Traveling Mexican

Traveling Mexican

Q: I received this mask from an estate of a friend. It is at least 50 yrs old and was bought in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The horns are loose but real horn as are the teeth real teeth, as you can probably tell. There is a snake head sticking out of the mouth. Would it be worth restoring? I want to keep it. I have another one which is similar.  Jim, 613

A: For starters, the mask was made in Mexico rather than Ecuador, (more…)


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