Mystery Mask Contest

Q:  I have a wooden hand carved mask. It  is 18H x 12.5W x 11D. It was found in storage auction unit that I won. I only know that previous owner traveled a lot in Asia, Africa and many  islands, and from every place he brought something. Wood masks, sculptures, helmets etc, nothing contemporary but  usually very  old antiques and he furnished his house with expensive furniture, pirate furniture made of wood of sunken ships. This mask is one of the collection. Where is it from? How old could it be and how much could it cost. Please, could you help me with that?  Eva, 1481

A:  Eva hasn’t given us much to go on. I’m stumped. It could be any of the following:  Authentic mask from some unknown culture, Tourist mask from somewhere, or Art project from a school, prison, hobbyist, etc. Please comment with your guess.



  • Chris

    My first guess would be: this could come from pretty much anywhere in the world. My most educated guess would be: it might come from somewhere where people like to wear their hair finely braided, like subsaharan Africa. The wood seems to be some piece of drift wood, or even a part of the root basis of a tree. An interesting detail is that the knifes of carving seem to be quite fine, not rough and big like stone tools or pre-modern iron, which would point rather to modern-style, industrially produced steel carving tools. Which would mean that it might also be some fun creation by a northern American or European hobby carver. so, in my opinion, a carving like that is almost impossible to determine neatly. Maybe the distinct teeth/mouth would help.

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