Bali & Java

Balinese clown mask

Q: Unfortunately, this time I messed up. I made an offer for a minimum price and it was accepted. I’m pretty sure it’s a fake. No holes for eyes, red paint. You can confirm? Thank you, Monica, 1561

A: Some of our viewers, especially beginning collectors, will appreciate your willingness to admit a mistake. If I were still collecting, I might have done the same.

What you have is a clever interpretation of the ugly hair-lipped clown that delights audiences in performances of the Topeng dance drama. Though everything you feared is correct, this mask is a interesting version of the famous clown. It would be nice to hang it next to a more typical version of the same character. Check out Bondres Cungih on page 43 of Masks of Bali by Judy Slattum.

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