Antique, very old, wooden OBESHIMI mask hailing from Japan. Thick traces of dark Patina on the mask. Well worn string-holes attest to both this piece's age and amount of adornment in the past.
At some point someone tried to "clean" the right side of the back of the mask... The true, dark, aged wood of this mask can still be see in the recesses of the nose area however... Its highly aged, darkened, wood! Exact age unknown, but given the attention to detail and craftsmanship it easily points to a mask made before the 19th century. Remnants of gofun (traditional smoothing paste made out of crushed oyster shells) outlines highlight the creases in the brown skin.
The mask is of a god... Representing a tengu who protects others from evil spirits and demons - named beshimi.
The oldest form of Beshimi masks, characteristically the mouth is firmly clenched and metallic gold eyes appear to pop out of the face. While the beshimi has an expression of inner determination, it also has a comical aspect: if beshimi were to unclamp its teeth, it would break into a smile. Beshimi's tense expression creates deep wrinkles on the forehead and forces both ends of the eyebrows to curl upward.
Flattened nostrils enlarge the end of the nose. The mask has a rounded jaw and depth of modeling allows for ears. Used for tengu roles in Kurama Tengu, Zegai, Kuruma z, Dairokuten, and Daie, where it is worn under a shaka mask and therefore called shaka shita. First created by the thirteenth carver Shakazuru Yoshinari. A good standard obeshimi mask is owned by the Mitsui family, Tokyo.A fine early Muromachi example with smaller eyeballs and rounder face belongs to Nara Zuihiko Shrine. 8.75 x 6.75. The item "Antique Wooden Japanese (Japan) Mask beshimi Obeshimi O-Beshimi God withPatina" is in sale since Tuesday, November 20, 2018. This item is in the category "Home & Garden\Home Décor\Masks". The seller is "maskmonger" and is located in Freeport, Maine. This item can be shipped worldwide.