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 old peasant woman with warts, bulbous upturned nose and parted hair. It was made by a very killed artisan likely born in the 19th century. Unlike the male mask I have posted, also carved by the same hand, this mask is "convex" with full rounded cheeks and features. It has been used and worn showing a mellow dry patina. In fine condition with a hairline stable age crack to the left side.
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 9.5" (24 cm), Width 6.5" (16.5 cm)