TYPE: A Tibetan Mahakala mask

CIRCA: 1900 (or earlier)

This beautifully hand carved wooden mask with a dynamic presence is from Tibet and is meant to depict the diety Mahakala, a ‘Guardian of the Dharma’ in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon. His common function there is as a protector of Tibetan Buddhism and is depicted as an enraged deity who wards off negative influences and is often used in ritual dances. Natural vegetative or mineral colours were used for the painting of this particular mask, which have mellowed beautifully with the passing of time and leaving the mask with a lustrous patina. It has an ancient repair to a vertical crack that runs partway through it, and the repair can be clearly seen in the photo of the back at far right. It has been in a private collection since being acquired in Kathmandu from a Tibetan refugee by a European collector in the mid 1970’s and this is the first time on the market since then. [For a very similar published example see image bottom right, page 147 in the book Masks of the Himalayas and Tibet by Massimo Candellero.]



WIDTH: 0.31M

DEPTH: 0.16M

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