Famous mask in a strange size

Dan Racer
Dan Racer

Q: I’ve been collecting masks for a few years and recently acquired an auction lot of W. African masks from a local small auction house that usually has junk, antique tools and farm equipment. I have details of them (and sketches) in a notebook with dates between 1950 – 1990.
I’m really fascinated by them and would like to get your opinion. This mask is tiny. The wooden face part is 5″ tall.  Adam, 549

A: Nice Gunye ge mask from the Dan culture of Liberia or Ivory Coast. Also called a Racer Mask. Normally you don’t see them with all their accoutrements. Also, I’m surprised by the 5-inch size, though I have seen a few in 1 to 3-inches, which are sometimes called passport masks. I’m going to guess this was made for the tourists trade, but I haven’t seen the rest of the collection. I think you should consider getting them all appraised by a professional. Yes, that’s a hint. If you send me a group shot of all the masks I will reply with an estimate of cost.  B


  • leon

    I thionk Bob has a point, a passport mask in dan come in various sizes.
    The attributes are too much to be true. In african masks esp chokwe , senoufo and dan, they put a new mask in old stuff, so always be xtra carefull if it’s to good to be true!

  • Eric

    This is a very rare altar mask. Only a few have been photographed and I am fairly sure this is a 100% authentic piece. Can I contact you regarding this?

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