Q: I just bought this at auction but know nothing about it. Any ideas about it would be appreciated. I’m interested in starting a small collection of masks. Steve, 783
A: This would be an excellent start to a collection. It is a very well made example of an ancestor mask from the Lower Sepic River area of Papua New Guinea. I usually recommend that people specialize rather than collect masks from anywhere. You could specialize in masks from PNG or from Oceania in general. This large (I’m guessing it’s about 2 feet high) beautiful version of the genre would probably look good in any collection, as long as you don’t insist on pieces that are old and used. It’s definitely quality work.
It is a lovely mask but it has been made for sale and not for indigenous use.