Abelam Balsa Wood Yam Mask with Cassowary Feather Headdress – tc188

Category: Masks

Maprik Area, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

These small balsa wood masks are used to adorn female yams at harvest ceremonies. They are often heavily decorated with shell jewellery, shell money and feather headdresses. This example has a fantastic expressive face and has been painted using natural pigments. Dark weathered patina, in excellent condition. 1950′-60′s, custom mounted.

Mask Height: 12.5 cm cm or 5 inches.
Headdress Width: 32 cm or 12.5 inches
Price: Sold

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Dynamic Manam Dance Mask – tc179

Category: Masks

Manam Island, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea

This impressive fellow originates from Manam Island. Carved from hard wood, in classic form, the large forehead undecorated as it would be adorned with dog and pig tooth head bands at ceremonial occasions. The sharp beak like nose does not rejoin the chin which is deeply carved with abstract motif. All of the attachment holes around the outer rim of the mask, are cut square and show signs of extensive use, the extra large bite stick still present showing old bite marks. Layers upon layers of red trade pigment decoration, with rough adze carving on the reverse. In perfect condition. Circa 1920′s; custom mounted.

Height: 51 cm cm or 20 inches.
Price: Australian $7500.00

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Beautiful Lower Ramu String Mask “u’Panim” – tc178

Category: Masks

Lower Ramu River, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea

This dramatic mask originates from the very lower Ramu River near where it joins the coast. Crafted entirely from bush materials, the face with coconut shell eyes, the “mohawk” on top of the head attained by using 10 old and quite large dogs teeth, while the bulk of the mask is decorated with hundreds of tiny nassa shells. Still vibrant red natural pigment decoration while the fringe on the bottom of the mask has traces of “recketts blue”. Complimented beautifully with a sharp clam shell nose pin. A perfect example in fine condition. Circa 1940′s. Custom mounted.

Width x Height: 24 x 25 cm cm or 9.5 x 9.75 inches.
Price: SOLD

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Lower Ramu Dance Mask – tc180

Category: Masks

Manam Island, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea

A fine Lower Ramu Dance mask. Carved in classic form from hard wood, the pierced ears with bush fiber earrings, while the solid brow has traces of shell inlay set in resin. The top suspension lug, and crocodile head protruding from the chin used to attach the mask to the dancers costume both exhibit extensive wear. The pouted mouth and eyes are carved through. Varied patina on the front surface with some of the bush varnish finish having worn away, while the reverse is smooth and glossy. Circa 1940′s In excellent condition.

Height: 52 cm or 20.5 inches.
Price: Australian $2800.00

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Manam Island Dance Mask “Watkapura” – tc173

Category: Masks

Manam Island, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea

A beautiful Manam Island dance mask. Carved in narrow classic form; the beak like nose joining above the mouth with deeply carved abstract motif projecting to the sides like a classic European moustache. The mouth and eyes, carved through while the ears and nose are pierced for attachments. Applied red and black trade paint, which is common practice in this region since the mid 20th Century. On the side of the mask are four carved holes which would have once housed a bite stick, and a large carved lug on the top of the mask for attachment to the dancers costume, all displaying signs of extensive use. I was lucky enough to document the individual name of this mask at time of collection which is “Watkapura”, this is an ancestral name associated with the clan who sold me it. A fantastic mask with a real presence, in what can only be described as excellent condition. Circa 1950′s; custom mounted

Height: 74 cm or 29 inches.
Price: Australian $4000.00

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Superb Lower Sepik Dance Mask – tc172

Category: Masks

Lower Sepik River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

A fine Lower Sepik Dance Mask. Carved from light hard wood in classic form the expressive face surmounted by a carved lizzard descending the forehead; while the ears and nose are pierced for attachments. Layers of vibrant trade and natural pigment decoration from generations of use. On the reverse are two carve holes where a bite stick would have once been. Weathered and encrusted patina, in overall excellent condition. Circa 1940′s; Custom mounted.

Height: 64 cm or 25.25 inches.
Price: Australian $3700.00

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Vibrant Abelam Baba Mask – tc142

Category: Masks

Maprik Area, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

A beautifully decorated Abelam Baba Mask. Tightly woven bark fibre with applied natural pigment decoration. Usually worn above a vegetal costume that completely covers the dancer. Weathered and encrusted patina; in excellent condition. Mid 20th Century; Custom mounted.

Height x Width: 38 x 21 cm or 15 x 10.5 inches.
Price: Sold

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3 Old Yangoru Talipoon Masks – tc94

Category: Masks

Yangoru Area, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

A group of three old Talipoon masks. Originally attached to large snail shells and traded as a form of traditional currency. All three have solid age, and are of a rare form, particularly the example with the double bird heads. Traces of pigments on all three masks, the two with birds a combination of natural pigments and Rekkits Blue washing powder, often used as a pigment in the 50′s and 60′s. Weathered and encrusted patina in truly excellent condition. Circa 1930′s; custom mounted.

Heights: 27 – 38 cm or 10.5 – 15 inches.
Price: Australian$1500.00

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Rare Abelam Wooden Baba Mask – tc96

Category: Masks

Maprik Area, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

A rare Abelam Wooden Baba Mask. Carved in large helmet form from medium density wood, and beautifully decorated in vibrant natural pigments, for which the Abelam people are well known. Openwork carving around the eyes to allow the dancer to see, the mouth carved through and the septum pierced. On the base of the mask are square cut holes to attach the vegetal costume completing the dancers outfit. Weathered patina, with evident loss on the top of the mask and a native repair to a naturally occurring split. An animated sculpture; in overall great condition. Circa 1960′s..

Height: 57 cm or 22.5 inches.
Price: Sold

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Rare Eastern Highlands Gourd Mask “Boni Kofa” – tc97

Category: Masks

Avanofi People, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

An Eastern Highlands gourd mask known by the Avanofi as “Boni Kofa”. These rare masks from Eastern Highlands are significantly different to those we find from the coastal areas in both form and materials used. Fashioned from a large vegetal gourd, and elaborately decorated with a fringe of cassowary and brightly coloured parrot feathers, cut out eyes, mouth and nose. Surrounding the eyes and on the chin is pecked motif, the mask and face nicely framed with rows of nassa shells. A great example of this type of mask; in fine condition. Mid 20th Century; custom mounted.

Height: 48 cm or 19 inches.
Price: Australian$1350.00

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