Misc,  Unknown

Ancient clay mask

Q:  The lady that I got this mask from for ten dollars last year said that she believed it originally came from China.  It measures six inches in diameter.  It is made of clay, and a friend who did ceramics told me that it was fired at a lower temperature than that of a modern kiln.  Thank you for looking.   Fred, 1308

A:  Perhaps it is an Asian piece, but I think it is more likely from Mexico or further South. That is not based on any expertise. It is just the fact that I see more “ancient” ceramics from the new world than the old. Sadly, most of them are reproductions. Note that there are three holes for holding it on to the face, and two more on the sides of the mouth. I’m hoping that some of our visitors can help with this. What culture does it come from? Usage? Age? Authenticity? Any comment is welcomed.


  • Bob Ibold

    Fred had this to say…
    I sent photos to an online appraisal organization, ValueMyStuff. They agree that it does look to be South American, but they have never seen a piece like this before. However from their experience it does not look pre-Columbian or antique.
    My answer…
    They are probably right on age and authenticity. Ceramic items are easy to reproduce, carved stone is more difficult. Both can look very authentic and are easy to sell.

  • Bob Ibold

    I’ve learned a bit more and am pretty sure this little mask is prehistoric. Could be from almost anywhere in the world.

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