Here is an exceptionally rare Japanese Kitsune (Fox) Mask. The previous owner was from Palm Springs, CA.
Thick, patina attesting to multiple times that this mask was culturally danced. Further attesting to its use is the articulating Jaw that would move during the performance. Signed by "MOTONAGA" or "GENCHOU". All research strongly attests that this mask was made and used at sacred Shinto performances during the ancient Kagura shrine festivals.The dancer wearing this mask would have interacted with the crowd and passing out rice cakes. This would certainly explain how a mask would get such a full, deep, rich patina... This thing has patina on every square inch of the reverse. The hole to the upper right of the signature is center of the tree rings or "core". It is immensely difficult to determine the mask's age since its made of all natural elements and using the same techniques that the Japanese have been refining for hundreds of years.
In my opinion its most likely from the mid to late 1800s. Its rare to come across a Japanese Fox mask in general, its exceptionally rare to fine one that's so clearly evidenced as culturally important by having been used.
Without question this piece is astounding from the perspective of its Patina. I have a Guatemalan mask that has 20-30 layers of paint on it which attests to it being used at a minimum of 30 years/times. That being said, this Japanese mask has thicker, deeper, more wide-spread patina... Which is suggestive this mask was worn 50+ years/time...
A cultural heritage item that demands to be preserved. 22 cm Tall x 19 cm Wide x 17 cm tip of nose to back of mask. See my other masks for sale, including several Japanese masks. Check out my other items. 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, withPatina Japanese Kitsune (Fox) Mask withArticulating Jaw -SIGNED" is in sale since Friday, May 22, 2015. This item is in the category "Antiques\Asian Antiques\Japan\Masks".
The seller is "cosmic_goods" and is located in Freeport, Maine. This item can be shipped worldwide.