This lovely item was brought back from Africa in 1959/60 by the parents of a relative-in-law. Hand-carved in Ebony and weighing over 2Kg this is a rather nice example of a tribal mask, we think originating in West Africa. This mask is designed for hanging rather than wearing and as such is seen as a piece of sculpture.
All proceeds from this item will go to the St.David's Hospice Care Charity at the request of the relatives.
Great condition, approximately 38 x 19 cm.
African Tribal Masks
African Tribal Masks represent the spirits of ancestors or children yet to be born and their faces are representative rather than pictures of real people. Whatever the wearer does whilst wearing a tribal mask is down to the spirit of the mask rather than the wearer.
Tribal masks are much collected, one of the great collectors was the artist Picasso who became fascinated by them when visiting an exhibition in Paris in 1907. Mask like heads appear in a number of his works. Other contemporaries of Picasso were also collectors.
Interestingly many African Tribal Masks are held in museums in the West. France has many that were 'acquired' during the period of French colonialism. There is a growing clamour in France to return them, much in the same way that the Elgin Marbles are debated in the UK. There is little danger that the mask mentioned here is one that would be repatriated, as those museum pieces are valued at hundreds or thousands of pounds each. Although beautiful and over 60 years old our piece would have been created for the export market to support local artesans.
We are always looking to add interesting pieces to our Vintage Indoor Sculptures collection. Please do stop by from time to time to see what’s new.