Bottom of the line

Dan Racer mask
Dan Racer mask

Q:  A few weeks ago I came home to find this mask sitting on a bench on my carport. I asked my neighbors if they knew any about it. Sadly they did not. I was curious if you could give insight on where is may have originated from as I have nothing to go on.  Pete, 634

A:  It is the famous Racer mask of the Dan people who live in the Ivory Coast region of West Africa. However, it may have been made somewhere else. These popular masks are manufactured for the tourist trade in many locations. Check out the “Masks for Sale” African section on and you will see a high quality example of the same mask. It can be purchased for $400. You could hang them side-by-side and tell people how quality raises the value. Then tell them that written provenance raises the price much more, even though the quality may be the same. Your Racer is worth about $100, the better one is $400, and one from a major auction house would be about $5000. That’s the way it works with African tribal art.  C

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy