South America, Peru, ca. early 20th century CE. A very rare and skillfully executed silver mask depicting an expressive visage of a skeletal or ghoulish figure with its wide, open eyes, flaring openwork nostrils, eye slits for the wearer beneath bushy brows, and an open mustachioed mouth. Various ancient cultures of Peru shared a tradition of creating death masks for the elite. This later mask while not intended for this purpose, certainly falls into the realm of the macabre. Perforated at each side and strung with an old leather cord for suspension. Size: 6.75" W x 7.25" H (17.1 cm x 18.4 cm)
Provenance: Ex - Private Santa Fe, NM collection
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