Famous Comedia del Arte mask

aaaMystrySolvd-1039Q:  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 Aaron’s selections are always so impressive.

Wikipedia says… Brighella  is a comic masked character from the Comedia del arte. His early costume consisted of loosely fitting, white smock and pants with green trim and was often equipped with a batocio or slap stick, or else with a wooden sword. Later he took to wearing a sort of livery with a matching cape. He wore a greenish half-mask displaying a look of preternatural lust and greed. He evolved out of the general Zanni, as evidenced by his costume, and came into his own around the start of the 16th century.  A



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