Q: I just purchased this mask at an auction in Georgia. It’s made of wood and is approximately 6″x8″. I was told it dated to the late 1800’s. Any information you could provide is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help. Cindy,752
A: It could be a Christian, Viejo, or some other character from Central Mexico. It has the classic features of a village dance mask from that area. But very old wood masks don’t often survive heavy usage, decay and insect damage. The big question is whether it’s really old, or a modern mask that has been carefully antiqued to fetch a higher price at market. A collector, dealer or museum curator with experience in Mexican folk art might be willing to help you with this question. But please do it in person or mail the mask to the expert. An appraisal of this nature should not be attempted with photos.