Frankly Scarlet ...
Dealing in Ethnographic Art near Manhattan, New York
Unusual, Collectable, Unique Art and Sculptures
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African Masks


We are pleased to offer a selection of Masks from Africa.

Bassa, Guinea Family Mask

SKU #0830008

This dance mask is really quite lovely. There is a blue coloring on some of the braided hair, ears eyelids and upper lip. A pink to red color is also on the braided hair, tattooed cheeks and inner lips. Some cotton fiber is still attached to the mask. There are a few square holes close to the hair which contain a tight knotted material. The beautiful scarification tattoo's on this very angular and defined mask are quite dramatic and well executed. 

As far as age, I was told about sixty years old (1950's), but I do not think that it is quite that old. This is an unusual mask for me. I have not had another one quite like this before. This would be a nice piece for any collection.

This finely carved dance mask stands 16" tall on it's custom display stand. The mask by its self measures 12" high by 7" wide by 8" deep.

Price: $1,500



Gere Ivory Coast Passport Mask

SKU #0410008

A wonderful and detailed passport mask of the finest quality. This mask has everything going for it. Carved out of wood it has sea shells, land snails, teeth, animal hair, cotton fiber and cloth. The mask has tons of patina and libations. Being worn as part of a head piece to denote which tribe the dancer is from it evokes strength and power. One of several pieces that came from a private collection I acquired, this is the most elaborate. Collected in the 1960's the original buyer had an eye for excellence.

Dimensions:

Standing 11 1/2" high on its custom base the mask measures 9" high by 4 1/2" wide at the whiskers and 6" deep, tilted.

Price: $900



Body Mask

SKU #0790006

This well detailed body mask is from the Yoruba tribe, Nigeria, Africa. It was used for making medicine and for difficult deliveries the bodice form is turned upside down with the interior facing up. The belly shape makes a great bowl and shows years of patina and use It is in incredible condition.
The scarification tattoos on this body mask are well defined and precise with red coloring showing through the patina on both sides of the belly.  The animal going down between the breast shows traces of red and white.  Most of the side holes on the bodice have been worn through, thus helping to age this magnificent piece. I would put it from the 1850's to 1900's. It could be earlier but that I can not guarantee.
 
This body mask is ready to  be displayed on the wall with it's own custom wall mount.
 
Dimensions:
30" high 14 3/4" wide and 10 1/2" deep

Price: $15,000



Danbec Mask

SKU #0130007

This mask is from the Dan Djmou Tribe in Liberia and Guinea, Africa. Danbec meaning Dan (tribe) bec (bird mouth) is used to speak to the people.

 

The wood carved mask is adorned with hand woven cotton cloth with indigo dye on each side of the face. The eyes are covered with copper and a light weight metal goes down the nose. The red velvet like fabric covers the face and cheeks. The top of the mask has a bundle of bells, goat horn, nut, hair, rings, and a Gree Gree bundle (charms, prayers, and potions).

The beak is covered with horse hair, nails and pitch. There is a small chip on the tip of the beak but it is not visible from the front.

As far as age, I date this piece from the middle 20th century. Shown here is one of six Danbec mask acquired, each different. Please contact us if you would like to see the collection. It has a custom made wall mount and is ready to hang.

 

Dimensions:

 

30"long 7" wide and 8 1/2" deep

Price:$2,850



DANBEC MASK
SKU# 0130007-2
 
This traditional male dance mask is from the Dimou tribe located between Liberia and Gurea, Africa.
 
The is the second mask of six that I collected at the same time. This particular mask is used to speak to the people when worn at the dance. It has a simple, traditional design with very few additions.
 
There are three old bells around the face which rest on top of the hand woven cotton fabric. As with all mask of this kind it is carved from one piece of wood and has nails, sea shells, earth pigments and the usual patina found on a mid century item. There is some clay residue that transferred from the face of the dancer.
  
There are not any cracks, chips or splits on this Danbec mask. It is ready to be installed with it's own custom display mount. 
   
Dimensions:
 
22 1/2" long x 6 1/2" wide x 7 1/2" deep.
 
Price: $1,500


FESTIVAL DANCE MASK

SKU# FAA22

This dance mask is from the Yaka tribe, Wamba River Zaire (Congo) Africa.

This beautiful and unusual Man's Festival Dance Mask comes from the present King's collection. His father died at 85 years of age and these were kept in his home.

Sometimes male and female dance with the same style mask. The male mask has the full upturned nose, while the female has a shorter and wider nose. Mothers and Fathers of a household have masks but the children do not. This information was given to me by a very, very reliable African Dealer. 

Made of woven raffia, bamboo, paint, earth pigments wood and patina, this is really a stunning dance mask. It is excellent condition with only a few rubbings  along the roof line and an oval hole beside the mouth. The raffia along the base of the house was broken in one place and has been repaired.

This mask comes with it's own custom made stand.  It is about 70-80 years old in age (1920's) and a must have for any collection. If you have any remaining questions, please feel free to ask.

Dimensions:

30" high x 14" wide x 14" deep

Price: $2,300



Dan Liberia Passport Mask

SKU #114507

A Dan Passport mask carved from one piece of wood with three sets of horns surrounding the face. The mask is worn on the top or front of the head during a dance ceremony. It denotes which tribe the dancer is from. This passport mask is from the 1960's.

Standing 9 3/4" high on the custom display stand (slightly tilted)

Mask alone is 7 1/2"high 4" wide and 4" deep

Price: $475



Elephant Bone Passport Mask

SKU #0730003

With years of use, this mask has a patina the color of butterscotch. Being of elephant bone this is a very important item for the user. I would say that this carving would have been used by a diviner or sorcerer. The raffia beard had been added recently.  This item is very dense and heavy and a good collectors piece. Dated pre-1910.

Currently the mask is hung by a cord. If you prefer to have a display stand, please let us know.

Dimensions:

Standing 6 1/2" high, 2 7/8" wide and 1/2" deep and 13" with the beard.

Price: $2,800



Baule Ivory Coast Festival Dance Mask

SKU #0730001

A very fine wood carved mask that was worn during Festivities when dignitaries visit the village. There is still a mouth piece attached to the interior of the mask. For those who do not know what this if for, the dancer grips the wood in his mouth to keep the mask from falling off. The carver did a beautiful job of carving because the coffer and scarification tattoos are done in very fine detail. Traces of Kaolin clay can be seen on this mask.

A beautiful patina covers the surface of this mask. Nothing has been remove or added and it is in it's original form. This mask is from the middle 20th century.

Dimensions:

Standing 18" high on its custom made base the mask in it's self is 15" high 8 1/2" wide and 8" deep. It is on a 5 1/2 square metal base.

Price: $1,200



Danbec Passport Mask, Liberia

SKU #116007

This Danbec passport mask is worn on the top of the head at a dance. This mask identifies the dancer to the tribe he belongs to. Carved from one piece of wood, the beak has a slight curve to it. The raffia is standing wild because this has been in storage. A little warm water spray will take care of it. There are traces of Kaolin clay on the face and a indigo cotton cloth around the rim of the face. It is from the 1960's.

Dimensions:

Standing 12" high on it's custom made base, the wood mask is 8" high 3 1/2" wide and 4" deep tilted on the base.

Price: $495



Dogon Baboon Dance Mask, Mali

SKU #1125002

This Baboon Mask is very simple in design but extremely strong visually. With the piercing eyes and square mouth, the patina and libations just add to the mystique. The wood has had years of weathering and this has caused a crack to form on the back of the mouth. This does not harm or detract from the mask at all. The holes around the edge of the mask are worn as well as the holes for the mouth piece. Dated pre-1930's. This mask has it's own custom made mounting. It is a good piece as a single, or to add to an existing collection.

Dimensions:

Standing 12" high 5" wide and 4" deep.

Price: $3,200



Dogon Beck Mask, Mali

SKU #1120002

This Early 20th Century mask is simple in it's carving but very strong in it's look. The mask has a zig zag pattern carved above the eyes and across the eyebrows. There are lots and lots of patina and libations covering the entire front of the mask. On the sides where the holes for the mouth stick is, some places are worn through. The eyes are triangle and the beak is turned up with an open mouth. This mask has been mounted for the wall with it's own custom stand.

Dimensions:

Measures 18" high 7 1/2" wide and 6" deep.

Price: $3,500



Bobo Society Beck Mask, Burkina Faso

SKU# 0840001

Bobo Society Mask is from the Burkina Faso tribe which is located in Inland West Africa. I was told that that the area this mask came from is the Mali and Burkina Faso region. I was also told that this mask was worn for three generations and then retired.

The man's Bird Society Dance Mask is well worn in the inside with a mouth guard made of cotton fabric. The eyes are encircled with concentric rings and large triangle groves go from the back of the mask to the beak. The end of the beak is wrapped with a heavy cotton twine and encrusted with patina and smoke. The incised horizontal line under the tongue make this a very good example of fine craftsmanship. This well used mask is covered with patina and smoke which is not fresh, but stable. This is from the early 20th century. Because of the dark color of this item it was hard to get a good picture of this dance mask. It comes with it's own custom made stand. Any questions please feel free to ask.

Dimensions:

Standing Size is 16" by 21 1/2" long and 7" wide.

The metal base is 7 3/3" by 6"

Price: $1,650



Banbara Society Mask - Mali

SKU #0812597

This society dance mask is the traditional style of the Bambara people. The hand carved wood base face is covered with embossed copper sheeting, and woven cotton fabric. I would date this Bambara Society Mask to be from the 1960's - 1970's. A nice piece for any collection.

Dimensions:

The mask stands 11 1/2 " high (on custom 15" base) 4 1/2" wide and 4" deep.

Price: $625



Liberia Ceremony Dan Mask

SKU #0820008

This Liberia Dan dance mask has some wonderful features to it. The adornments have not been removed as with many mask coming from Africa. Around the jaw is cotton cloth with small vertebrae of snake, brass bells and small leather pouches(containing prayers). Aluminum is used for the teeth and a nail is attached to the top of the head. The back of the mask has a woven cotton cloth that is remaining from the original dance costume. Please note that most of the Dan mask I have encountered have all of the charms and strength pieces removed, so this is a very nice piece. Dated pre-1950's.

Measuring 9" high (on csutom 12" stand) by 5" wide by 4" deep.

Price: $1,500



Hemba Mask from Gabon, Zaire, Africa
SKU # 0445008
This  Hemba Big Mouth Monkey Clan Mask is the classical style one is to expect when looking for the dynamic African Art. This mask has been used a few times with a slight smoke smell to it.  The age is undetermined, but I believe it to be newer rather than older. 
 
You will love the simple but elegant style of this mask as it will go well in any location and blend well with different styles.
 
Dimensions: 
 
11 1/2" High x 10" Wide x 8" Deep
Standing 21" on its custom made base.  

Price: Sold


Ivory Passport Mask

SKU #0720003

A passport mask used for ceremonies. This piece has years and years of libation, changing the color of the ivory to a dark mahogany color. The beard is new as well as the cord to hang it by. The carving on this face, hair and hat are very symmetrical in execution. Dated pre-1950's. If you would like a stand for this please let us know.

Dimensions:

Standing 4 3/4" high 2 1/2" wide and 3/4" deep and 9 1/2" with the beard.

Price: Sold


Kuba, Gabon Zaire Harvest Society Mask

SKU #SAM50008

This fun Kuba helmet mask is shaped like a bee and used at the harvest festival. The light weight wood is carved on both sides with circles and squares. On the topside of the mask the circles have traces of Kalon clay and soot and the squares design on the underside also have traces of red pigment. There are triangle shaped holes on each side of the body of the bee for chin strap supports. Well used and a little rough around the edges. Dated 1980's. Upon purchase please let me know if you would like this Bee Mask to have a table stand or wall mount. This is a nice visual item.

Size 33" wide by 13" tall and 4 3/4" deep.

Price: Sold



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