Here is an absolutely stunning work of antique art by a Japanese Artisan. Japanese Owl with gofun (a traditional technique using crushed oyster shells and glue to base coat) and natural pigments. Its exceptionally hard to date this mask, the techniques used here date back over a thousand years. (Wire has of course been more recently added). This is particularly exciting as its clearly been used/danced as attested by..
Every inch of this mask has a thick patina, including where the wearer's face never touched, which means this thing has been heavily danced for 30, 40, 50+ years! The reverse of the nose has been ergonomically recessed for the wearer's comfort. The string holes have a ton of wear where the string once held onto the mask and that slowly rubbed against the wood as the dancer jumped around.Made of a single block of highly aged wood (likely 2+ years of aging). This is a dying art unfortunately which has been telling historical arts for thousands of years. Last I knew, there were a dozen or less master mask makers in the greater Tokyo area. Its exceptionally rare to find a used/danced Japanese piece. That all said, its high quality, antique, danced, and its condition is commensurate with its age... So its a bit of a shame that they would loose sight of this piece's cultural importance.
MASATOYO most likely being the artisan. SAKU referencing to the character/dance?
Absolutely stunning three-dimensional feathering done at the upper portions of this mask. This is a musuem quality, culturally used artifact from Japan. It could literally be 500 years old! Approximately 10 x 7 inches.Other masks of my collection might be up: Check out my. See the Natural Museum in Japan to see what I mean about the unchanged techniques, natural pigments and difficulty in actually judging age: 17th Century Mask. The item "Antique, DANCED, Japan/Japanese Wooden OWL Mask -Ethnographic/Cultural Asset" is in sale since Thursday, June 4, 2015. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\Japan\Masks". The seller is "maskmonger" and is located in Freeport, Maine. This item can be shipped worldwide.