Masks of the World

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Old or fake?

Q:  Here is another Guatemalan mask, a conquistador, told to be from early 20th, from an old collection in LA. No trace of paint. Seems to be a nice patina on the back… but I wonder if this piece was waxed  to give this brown uniform patina. Your impression would be really welcome.  Jean, 1388

A:  This classic mask could also be a Moor or some other character. Sometimes masks like this are repainted to be a different character if the morreria* is running out. The big question would be its authenticity. It does not have a morreria mark or any signs of paint. Also, I think the carving is slightly inferior. Please look at these three handsome photos and give us your opinion. I’m sure Jean would be thankful.

* A morreria is a shop where masks and costumes are made to be rented to the villagers… instead of making them buy the outfit or make it themselves. It’s a great idea, but I can’t think of any other culture that offers this service.

Categories:   Guatemala

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