India & Himalayas

Large, old Nepali mask

Q:  Acquired this mask in Kerala, India, in the back warehouse of an antiques dealer. I found it highly unusual, as it features 2 Bhairavs (the wrathful manifestation of  Shiva ) topped with a carving of the Goddess Kali. I’ve seen many Bhairav masks, as well as double or triple Bhairav masks, but never with Kali at the crown. Undoubtedly Nepali, though I am unsure of the full meaning behind this combination. When I found it it was grey, but after some cleaning it revealed the two lower Bhairavs were red and blue. It is a large mask, measuring 30”  X  16”  X 7” deep.  David, 1798

A:  Thank you for sharing your very special Himalayan mask with us. I must say you did a great job cleaning it up. Cleaning old masks can be tricky.  A

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