Mexico

Old Devil masks for tourists

Patzcuaro, Michoacan
Patzcuaro, Michoacan

Q:  These masks always hung on my grandfather’s office wall. I have had them hanging  or boxed since I got them around 1985. I thought i was told they were Mexican and that my grandparents bought them there, but after looking at your website I wonder about them being unpainted. The one with numbers looks like auction lot notes. I have photos of back, front sides and the close ups of the ones with writing. I am so curious!  Elizabeth, 799

A:  I am partial to Mexican masks, so your collection of five old Devil masks from Patzcuaro, Michoacan, excited me. One of the masks shows the name “Manuel Soto” who could be the carver of all five. Two have dates– 1949 and 1956. The fact they are unpainted means Don Manuel made them to be sold to tourists. (There were plenty of gringos visiting that attractive city even back then.) I don’t think you could find masks that look like this today. It would be nice to keep the group together.  C+

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