• Unknown

    Very puzzling

    Q:  I purchased a mask from a second hand shop in Shrewsbury, UK, last weekend. The mask is wooden but very light and is decorated with engraved lines. Some of the raised sections are highlighted with red, blue and white paint although this is quite well worn. The mask cost £60 and the seller believes it is from the early 1900s but didn’t have any definite information. I love the mask, which is why I bought it, but I would like to know more about its history and I hope that you or one of your readers can help.  Christine, 965 A:  I too find this mask attractive. Wish I…

  • South America,  Unknown

    Strange mask of natural materials

    Q: I found it in a box at a garage sale in Naples, FL.. The lady said it was in her grandfathers garage with a bunch of other “junk”. I payed 5 dollars for it. The feathers feel real the face portion seem to be some type of pod that may have been closed at one point and then opened. The teeth seem real although they look more like animal teeth on the back it looks like a clay way molded so as when the feathers came through the front they would stick in the clay and stay in place when it dried.

  • South America,  Unknown

    Great folk art carving

    Q: The heavy hardwood mask with a star on the forehead is, I was told, an older carnival mask from Trinidad & Tobago. It supposedly represents a policeman (hence the star). I’m not sure all this is accurate, but it does make some sense. I’ve never seen a mask quite like this one before. What do you think? Aaron, 838 A: You have a good eye for quality. I think this is an authentic mask, but like you, I’m not aware of carnival masks from Trinidad & Tobago looking anything like this.

  • Unknown

    Decorative or authentic

    Q:  Here again I submit a mask that I have not been able to identify. Made of light weight, balsa like, wood. It measures 7.7″ in height x 7″ in width and 3″ in depth. I’ll be grateful for any input on the origin of this mask.  Louis, 823 A:  The Mask Man is stumped again. I just can’t remember where I might have seen something like this before. The front is fresh and may have been repainted. The rear could be showing real usage.

  • Unknown

    Yet another Mystery Mask

    Q:  I picked this mask up at an estate sale, but they could not tell me anything about it. It’s 13″ tall, 8.5″ at it’s widest and about 4.5″ thick. Can you help me figure out where it might be from?  Rick, 819 A:  This is another Mystery Mask the Mask Man can’t identify. Bulging eyes and big teeth rendered in a rough and primitive style. Most likely it comes from an area where the tourists are intrigued by “old tribal masks.”

  • Unknown

    A real puzzler

    Q:  This mask was a gift from someone who bought it on E-bay. The seller had no information on the origin. Made of light weight wood and shows some repair work along with small nails around the brows and mouth area. some of the wooden teeth look not to be original. It measures 8 x 8 x 8 inches at widest points.  Luis, 811 A:  Occasionally we get what truly can be called a Mystery Mask. I have never seen one that looks like this.

  • Unknown

    Thai or Timorese mask?

    Q:  I’ve had it about 25 years. It came from a guy who used to import furniture from Thailand and he just acquired it from some locals who got it many years earlier from a temple that was destroyed by fire. Whether or not that’s just a salesman patter or quite feasible– who knows? But I’ve looked through the net and haven’t got any more of a clue of what it is. It’s approx 32 by 19 inches and of heavy darkish wood. If you could shed some light on it I would be very grateful.  Alex, 730 A:  I haven’t seen a Thai mask like this.

  • Unknown

    Heavy Metal Mystery

    Q:  I recently purchased this copper mask online and was wondering what your thoughts regarding country of origin might be. It’s very well made and could easily be worn by an adult, though it’s fairly heavy. It’s similar in construction to the tin Bolivian masks I own, but not quite the same stylistically. Possibly Mexican or Peruvian? I’m hoping one of your dedicated followers may have some insight. Thanks, Dan, 724 A:  That’s a hum dinger of a mask!

  • Misc,  Unknown

    Strange art mask

    Q:  I acquired this mask decades ago. I was told at that time that it’s South American, but they knew nothing more than that. It is carved of wood, covered with pebbles (?), then painted. It has a dark brown or black undercoat which shows slightly where it’s worn. I look forward to the benefit of your opinion.  Martin, 710 A:  I like to refer to these as “art masks.”