Tigre mask from Mexico

image[1]Q:  I purchased the mask yesterday, while walking through the Columbus Flea Market in New Jersey. I paid the couple $35 for the item. They acquired it while cleaning our an estate in Princeton, New Jersey. The mask is approximately 13″ in height, and 10″ in width. As a retired police lieutenant, I have no knowledge with respect to this area of collecting.  Daniel, 973

A:  This may be an old Tigre del Tecuani mask used in the dance of the Tigres (rural name for jaguars) from somewhere in the state of Guerrero.  Since it has a big mouth opening and no eye holes, it would have been worn higher on the head of the dancer. Or it’s a decorative carving made for sale to tourists. Even though your photos are sharp and well lit, I can’t tell whether it’s authentic or a fake.

One Comment

  • Daniel

    Dear Mr. Ibold:

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my post. I appreciate your insight into this mask, as it provided me a starting point for research.

    I understand that it must be difficult to determine certain things just from several photos. The one thing I can tell you from looking at it in person, it’s old! A local antique shop guessed it was probably early to mid 19th century, and most likely of Mexican origin.

    In any event, I love it and will keep it. It’s unusual to say the least.

    If in fact it is an original (vs a fake), what letter grade would you attach to the mask?

    Thank you again for your time and consideration.

    Best regards,


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