Q: I bought this mask at an estate sale about 10 years ago. The individual had about 50 masks in his collection, but with no real focus. Many were tourist pieces… a number from South and Central America. This one was tucked away in a corner… but had no identification. I like Japanese art and this struck me as perhaps an older Noh mask, but there was nothing the family new… or anything with the mask that would give me any indication of history. It is a light wood (almost like balsa) and you can see the grain. The painting detail is rather primitive. I’m good at searching online usually… but I can find nothing like this. The only thing I’ve seen is that the eyes on this mask look like some of the Noh characters. Also, the chord that was on it was very old… not new. And I even checked Native American masks (thinking Pacific NW)… but found nothing. Other than that, I’d love to know what you think might be its origin… and potential use and age. And it’s about 9 inches tall… about 6 across… and to the tip of the nose it’s about 7 inches deep. Jack, 1539
A: I agree with everything you said. I would also add Indonesia as a possibility, but that’s not much help when you consider how large and diversified it is. There are some serious mask collectors who read these blogs regularly. Be sure to enlarge these excellent hi-res photos, especially the rear view. I hope you have an idea to share. A?