Bali & Java

Old half-mask from Bali

Topeng half-mask
Topeng half-mask

Q:  I recently purchased this mask at a non-internet estate auction as part of an auction lot. Size is 6 1/4″ h x 5 1/2″ w. Light elegant wood with a true antique feel (wavy patina). The red paint might be storage splatters. I collect well-crafted, antique ethnographic items.  Jerry, 707

A:  Your excellent hi-res photos suggest this is a very old Balinese mask used for the Topeng dance drama that has been performed there for hundreds of years. An old patina can be very attractive and highly desirable to collectors. But please remember that I can’t be sure of its authenticity simply by looking at scans on a computer screen.  A

One Comment

  • Pat Morf

    This appears to be a Bondrès Gigi Saak mask, which would have been worn to represent a villager or clown in Topèng Pajegan and Topèng Panca dances.

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