Hard to identify or just tourist

Q:  I have a large mask from up-country in the Ivory Coast. I believe this is the original article and not a tourist “knock off.” I’m looking for more information as to origins and price. Can I send you a pic?

(later)  More pictures, at last, Bob. Sorry still not one of the back. The mask is languishing in Vietnam with friends who are about to move back to the states. If you know anyone who wants to rescue it let me know.   David, 1104
A:  I think this is a tourist mask from Africa or Asia. Most of the masks in thrift shops or the Internet fall into this category. Let me divide these fakes into groups…
(1)  Reproductions. These mimic traditional art from a culture. They usually look old and used, which has been achieved artificially. When done well, they are ideal for collectors with low budgets.
(2)  Cheap junk. Probably 90% of the masks for sale today belong to this group. They can be traditional, a combination of styles, or something impossible to identify. Usually these masks have been artificially aged.
(3)  Decorative.  They can be skilfully made and very beautiful, but they have little to do with cultural customs. Tourists love them. Great for rec rooms and patios.
The mask pictured here could be #1, #2, or possibly an authentic artifact. But the Mask Man does make mistakes. If you have an idea where it was made, please comment so David can feel better.  C-


One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy