Rare torito mask from Guatemala

Q: Torito masks are common in Guatemala. There is already several examples on your site. Most are big with ears and horns, frequently a visible tongue, actually relatively realistic. There is one dance where the toritos masks are totally different and very specific, the Patzcar dance in the province of Sololá, frequently around Nahuala. Here is a nice used example of this type, probably mid XXth (40ies). The front bell and colorful ribbons are very typical of these masks. They are very small, not exceeding 6.5 inches, much smaller than the usual toritos masks used elsewhere in Guatemala, that can measure up to 8-9 inches. 1599, Jean

A: Thanks for sharing these beautiful masks with me and our viewers. Would you mind telling us how you manage to acquire such desirable Guatemalan masks. I'm sure some want to learn more about serious collecting. Please don't mention any names or addresses. We don't want any sales promotion. A


  • Jean

    Hi Bob,
    I think the conditions to build a serious collection are several:
    – Passion. Love your topic and think to it all the time.
    – Knowledge. Learn everything about and around your topic of interest. Books, web, exhibitions, discussions with experts,… Both concerning the cultural context and the artistical point of view.
    – Search. Use all the means presently available to find your objects of desire.
    – Patience. Wait for the right findings.
    – Selectivity. Closely related to the previous point. Better one nice piece than an accumulation of low end stuff.
    – Money. Of course, nice items could cost some money. But beware excessive prices for medium or overstated quality items (especially in terms of age!). All the previous conditions will be necessary to know what is the right price for a given object….


  • Bob Ibold

    Excellent advice. I agree with everything you said. Let’s hope that some beginning collectors read it and maybe have some questions to ask.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy