Bali & Java

That old and used look

aaaMystrySolvd-947Q:  This mask was given to me by an uncle who told me that it came from a collector of authentic masks and that is all I know about. It is made of some kind of wood and the hair is very course. The jaw of the mask is hinged for movement. The mask is 10 inches long by 8 inches wide. Any info would be greatly appreciated.  Phil, 947

A:  The character is Rangda from one of the classic dance dramas of Bali, Indonesia. It was made for sale to tourists or for export. That darkened varnish plus some dusting and roughing is what I refer to as “antiquing.” Many buyers are willing to pay more because the piece is claimed to be old and authentic. I hope you and other readers will recognize this. If you like the way it looks and don’t have to pay a lot, by all means hang it on your wall and enjoy. But don’t expect to find authentic masks in flea markets, shops, eBay, etc. very often.  C


  • Tami Sims

    Want to say Thank You very much for looking at my mask, answering all my questions and even giving me much needed information!!! Oh and all of it in such a quick turn around of time. I very much appreciate your time and expertise, thank you so much, and you really are “The Mask Man”!!! What a wealth of knowledge and information, thank you again!!!

    • Bob Ibold

      How nice to get a compliment like this. But I need to warn future questioners that I don’t always answer quickly. When visiting my children I leave the computer at home.

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