• Europe

    Long nose mask from Baden-Württemberg

    Q:  Here are some photos of a “Langnase” carnival mask from Elzach, Germany.  This one is not old, but is made for use.  Aaron, 1064 A:  I just posted a mask from Aaron (actually two from Lombok) a week ago, which means I’m breaking my own rules again. But his acquisitions are always worth sharing with others. This one is great. It looks like it might be a Scaramouch or a Plague Doctor from the famous carnival of Venice, Italy. But instead, it’s from a much different culture in southwest Germany. Save Save Save

  • Europe

    Fancy Venetian carnival mask

    Q:  Your site is the only place I found information about a mask like this. I think it might be the same Barbare Venezie as another carnivale mask you published a photo of.  I fell in love with this through an estate auction and don’t even have it in my hands yet. The pics are from the estate sale website. I really want to know more.  Paula, 1049 A:  They are so pretty I decided to share it with our viewers even though we have a similar one already in the archives. Perhaps that’s the one you’ve seen. And don’t hesitate to wear it. These masks hold up very well. …

  • Europe

    Another interesting Buso

    Q:  I would like you to have a look at this mask. The seller has no clue about it, but I think it is an older, somewhat crude Busojaras mask from Hungary. The name on the rear seems to be Hungarian, and it comes with the year of carving. It may be unused mask but it looks like it was made for use (recess for the nose). The carved lines on the face are remarkable. What do you think of it?  Chris, 1041 A:  It is especially nice because of the excellent horns and the interesting carvings on the face. The signature should be researched and will possibly add more…

  • Europe

    Famous Comedia del Arte mask

    Q:  I’ve acquired another mask I thought you’d enjoy.  This Brighella, which I know almost nothing about except that it’s leather and at least 25-30 years old. It’s got an elastic strap on the back and was clearly made for use, and is very well done.  I wish I knew more about it, e.g., whether it was actually made in Italy or by an Italian-trained artisan.  Aaron, 1039 A:  This is the third European mask posted in a row, but I think we American collectors tend to prefer African, Oceanic and others cultures while often ignoring Europe. Also, I broke my rule of accepting only one mask per person because…

  • Europe

    Masterpiece from Europe

    Q: The Sepp Seidl Krampus mask, the fifth of his I own, is a very special one.  It has taken me four years to get him to sell me a mask with the traditional Steinbock horns instead of domestic goat horns, because the Steinbock ones are more expensive and very popular.  This mask has been used in several Perchtenlaufen over the years, and still has the plastic helmet inside it.  Aaron, 1038 A:  We are always pleased when Aaron shares one of his recent acquisitions with us. This mask is made by one of the best makers in the world. Look at the enlarged photo carefully to appreciate the workmanship.…

  • Europe

    Swiss Butzi by Othmar Klauser

    Chris sent this in. His description is better than I could do, so here it is. The YouTube link at the end is in German. I which I could understand the old carver. I would like to contribute with a mask which I found some time ago on a local internet platform. I knew instantly that it would be a mask from the area around Sargans, eastern Switzerland, as of its style and the characteristic hood attached to the mask. The previous owner had the (unused) mask in her family for a long time, but she did not know much more about it. I managed to find a carver in…

  • Europe

    The scary Buso from Hungary

    Q:  I just returned from a trip where I bought several masks. This one is from Gyorgy Prokai from Mohacs. Unlike my other Buso masks I have aquired, this one has the full sheep’s leather hood and is fairly heavy. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this mask.  Aaron, 1021 A: The Busójárás is an annual celebration of the Croats living in the town of Mohács, Hungary, held at the end of the Carnival season, ending the day before Ash Wednesday. The celebration features Busós (people wearing traditional masks) and includes folk music, masquerading, parades and dancing. We’re always appreciative of the wonderful artifacts you collect and are willing to share…

  • Europe

    European art mask

    Q:  I bought this mask at an estate sale yesterday for $35. The estate sale person knew nothing about its origins or age, but the estate was full of local art items and collectibles. A friend suggested that the eyes of this mask remind her of work by sculptor Enrique Alférez who was Mexican but lived and worked in New Orleans in the 1930s. I’d appreciate any ideas or suggestions. Thanks!  Nancy, 978 A:  This looks almost like a Commedia dell’arte mask and it is very skillfully made. The professional carver could be from anywhere. Wooden masks for carnival and other celebrations are almost always painted. I’m sure this was made to…

  • Europe

    Basket-like mask from Europe

    Q:  Any thoughts about this mask? It is very large and completely woven. I have had it for some time, purchased at a garage sale. Could it be a mask that was used for “the running of the bulls?” Would appreciate any info you can provide.  Mickey, 930 A:  I’ve seen woven masks from all over the world.  Some come from Europe, where bulls and other animals are favorite subjects. I have seen a bull from France that looks exactly like yours. With a little research or a helpful comment, we might be able to identify the village and what kind of celebration it is used for.

  • Europe

    Tschäggättä mask from the Swiss Alps

    Q:  I recently purchased this large old mask from a Canadian gentleman who had no knowledge of it’s origin or history. I’d guess it to be Eastern European, Tyrolean or possibly Swiss, but I’m not entirely certain where it’s from. I’m hoping you, or one of the many collectors who visit your site, may recognize it. It shows signs of use and has holes around the perimeter indicating it may have had a cloth or fur hood at one point. It also has a concave area surrounded by  holes on the back that most likely held padding in place for the comfort of the wearer. It measures approx 14″X 9″,…