Origin: S. W. German (Bavaria) (Provenance: acquired from an antique dealer in New England)
Period/Date: circa 1940's
Materials: hardwood (Linden wood), polychrome paint
Description: This high quality portrait mask is hand-carved from a single piece of wood. It was used in "fasching" carnival and depicts a caricature of cheerful peasant with warts, bulbous upturned nose and missing teeth. It was made by a very killed artisan likely born in the 19th century. Note that this mask is "concave" while the mate to this mask (peasant woman) is convex and rounded. It has been used and worn showing a mellow dry patina. Fine condition with a small glued mend to the lower lip.
Vintage Catholic carnival mask come from Bavaria and possibly Baden-Württemburg, Germany. Fasching is the pre-Lent festival equivalent, usually beginning the week before Ash Wednesday. Soon after Fasching season opens, a mock government of eleven guilds (Zünfte) are elected, along with a carnival prince and princess who basically plan the carnival festivities. The guilds parade down the streets wearing masks and costumes, culminating in the biggest parades on Rosenmontag, the Monday before Ash Wednesday.
Dimensions: Height 9" (24 cm), Width 6.5" (16.5 cm)