• Protection

    The balaclava can be scary

    Though this website deals mostly with ethnographic masks from cultures all over the world, we occasionally see masks used for protection and other purposes. A few people, like yours truly, enjoy collecting them as well. In our new book, Masks from Around the World, chapter 13 is called “Protection & Protest” and the next one is “Steampunk & Sex.” This mask is on page 173 with the following description. 958 Balaclava The 3-holed black balaclava was designed as full cold-weather protection for the head. During the Crimean War in 1854 handmade balaclavas were sent over to the British troops to help protect them from the winter weather. Today they are…

  • Native America,  Protection

    Eskimo sun glasses

    Q:  These antique whale bone/scrimshaw goggles came from the Aleutian Islands near Alaska.  Would you have any idea the approximate age of these goggles?  How valuable would these be?  PJ, 873 A:  Indigenous people in the extreme Northern parts of the world have always carved goggles out of wood or bone with thin slits for eye holes. 

  • Protection

    Rare protective mask

    Q:  I’m a collector based in Chicago who specializes in mostly gas masks or war masks weather they be cold weather pieces or pilot respirators. I have a few very scarce pieces that I was wondering if you would be interested in purchasing. The mask pictured is an unknown WWI era Italian prototype mask. It was obtained from a very well known collector in Spain who owns about 2500 masks. It comes in a tin which is stamped 1916 but the mask may possibly be post-war and just stuffed into an older tin. It is definitely pre-WWII though. It looks to be based off of the tampon mask but has…