Identifying a Carved Wood Mask

Category Art
Pieces of artwork that we acquire at yard sales, receive as gifts, etc. are often unmarked as to maker or origin. This is a page about identifying a carved wood mask.
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October 16, 2019

I was given a box of masks. I have no interest in keeping them, but would like to see if anyone knew anything about these.

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October 16, 20190 found this helpful

These could be African masks. I would take them to a dealer

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October 17, 20190 found this helpful

I do believe these are Indonesian Wooden Mask. You can find some sold online and here is one site that you can check out. It appears if these are in good condition you can get around $20 a mask. sg.carousell.com/.../

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October 17, 20190 found this helpful

I agree. When I searched for wooden masks on Google, the ones from Bali looked the most similar. However, those masks were not in great condition as I could see the paint has been worn off in many places. This will affect the value. I'd probably sell them all together.

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Good luck and let us know what you find out.

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October 17, 20190 found this helpful

Probably Indonesian or Balinese but so many are new that it is difficult to place a value. Most sellers will no idea as to what type of mask they are selling so you cannot narrow the search or you'll miss half the listings.
Your masks were probably brilliant colors at one time and unless you know some provenance that would make them 'special' you may have a difficult time selling.


Not sure about the two without paint as they probably have some different meaning but only mask knowledgeable people may know this.

I also believe you should either try selling them in 2's or 4.
You can always start at a higher price and lower it after several weeks if no one shows and interest.
Shipping may be a nightmare so be sure you box and weight them before listing for sale.

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You do not state the size so that could add a large amount to the shipping cost.
You can always list them on local sites that let you offer them for local pick up with no shipping involved.

eBay has quite a few sold masks so you may want to check for something similar to yours and these prices give you some idea of what people are buying and what they are paying.

www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=+wall+wooden...

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October 18, 20190 found this helpful

Unless you know the history of the pieces, these could be new pieces that were sold in places like Pier One and other home good store as recently as last week. I don't mean to sound disrespectful here...but pieces like this are sold all the time new--made to look old.

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Then there are an entire category of souvenir pieces from other countries/native groups that were sold to tourists on the street, at the airport, hotels, etc. These are considered "folk art" some of which were made by hand, some in factories. Again--they are still being sold today and there are old ones.

Then there is an entire category of masks used by various peoples in various countries that were part of their ceremonial rituals (meaning NOT produced for sale--but for use in homes and their ceremonial venues). These are the ones that can have a lot of value--and in some cases are things that should be in museums. These are NOT often found in "the wild" but they could be if they were taken or given to someone outside of the "family".

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I don't think anyone can tell from a photo what you have. There are way too many variables in these items and only an expert can tell you what you have.

My suggestion is to take these pieces to an expert--either a resale shop that sells pieces like this, a museum gift shop--if they will look at them for you--or a history center curator--if one will talk to you. Experts will want to see them in person.

Value can't be discussed until you know exactly what you have.

Post back what you learn from someone who can see and touch them!

They are neat!! Hope they are old and valuable!!

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July 20, 2016

This wooden mask decorated with metal and beads looks African. It is hand carved with these dimensions 8 1/2 " by 25". Any information about origin and value, would be appreciated.

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

What a fabulous mask! It does indeed look African though you might have better luck IDing it by visiting these sites: www.africancraftsmarket.com/african-mask-category.html

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www.paleobree.com/page4.htm - the folks who run this site might have more info

this site claims to have a person who will ID a mask for you He's called The Mask Man masksoftheworld.com/?s=the+mask+man

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March 1, 20170 found this helpful

Send the picture here: nmaahc.si.edu/ The National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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