India & Himalayas

Primitive Nepalese mask

Q: I have a nice old mask that I’m not sure of origin. I have an idea that it comes from Timor, but something also pointing in the direction of Himalaya. What do Mask of the world think? I hope you can and will help. Thanks in advance! Data: High 24cm. wide 15cm. depth 10 cm. Hardwood and hair. Looks like human hair, but not sure. Provenance: I bought a collection of old Greenlandic artifacts, which included this. Jan, 1623

A: The appearance of Timorese masks is sometimes confused with old Himalayan examples. With the hair and black, shiny color of the mask, I’ll go with rural Nepal or someplace West, North or East of Kathmandu. Because of your experience with material from the Arctic areas of the world I think you may be correct about its authenticity. It’s condition is excellent, in fact it looks like it was made quite recently. A

One Comment

  • Jan Kramer

    Hi Bob
    Thanks for reply!
    I admit that the mask looks pretty new on the pictures – But the light teases in these pictures. The mask has more patina than shown. The tree has a deep glow beneath the surface patina. Therefore, I am pretty much convinced that this mask is more than 50 years old.
    I did not expect the mask to be worth the fortune – I was just curious about its country of origin. It´s always nice to learn and get a little bit wiser 😉 In addition, it surprising me how much the mask culture is quite similar to each other around the world.
    Again thanks, Jan

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