Q: I’ve been collecting masks for a few years and recently acquired an auction lot of W. African masks from a local small auction house that usually has junk, antique tools and farm equipment. I have details of them (and sketches) in a notebook with dates between 1950 – 1990.
I’m really fascinated by them and would like to get your opinion. This mask is tiny. The wooden face part is 5″ tall. Adam, 549
A: Nice Gunye ge mask from the Dan culture of Liberia or Ivory Coast. Also called a Racer Mask. Normally you don’t see them with all their accoutrements. Also, I’m surprised by the 5-inch size, though I have seen a few in 1 to 3-inches, which are sometimes called passport masks. I’m going to guess this was made for the tourists trade, but I haven’t seen the rest of the collection. I think you should consider getting them all appraised by a professional. Yes, that’s a hint. If you send me a group shot of all the masks I will reply with an estimate of cost. B