TYPE: A Nepalese ‘fungus mask’

CIRCA: First half 1900’s

From Nepal, a fantastic, naturally formed Lingzhi fungus that has had eyes and a mouth carved in around a naturally formed ‘nose’ so as to resemble a face. These kinds of fungus mask can be found hanging on the walls of houses in the Terai or middle hills regions of Nepal and are considered benevolent forest deities with an ancestral representation. There has also been suggestion that they are at times used by shamans during ceremonies. In this piece the nose is not attached or carved, but an integral part of the fungus. Old naturally formed Nepalese fungus masks are somewhat rare, so accurately dating when they were carved can be difficult, but given the patina of this example it certainly has some age to it (and may be older than the suggested date). As each fungus grows differently throughout its life, each is truly unique, and this one of a kind ‘old man of the forest’ with a wonderful patina is no exception. [See published examples pages 242 & 243, in the book Masks of the Himalayas and Tibet by Massimo Candellero.]

MATERIAL: Lingzhi fungus

HEIGHT: 28cm

WIDTH: 35cm

DEPTH: 18cm