500 Gallery
Live Auction

Spring Discovery Sale

Wed, Apr 5, 2023 05:30PM EDT
Lot 28

Unusual Bird Mask, Dan People, Liberia

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$20,000 $1,000
$50,000 $2,500
$100,000 $500,000
African Tribal Art: Dan People, Liberia: A rare anthropomorphic mask with a combination of human and bird features. Carved wood with elaborately braided fiber hair, the human-like face has a tubular eyes and a defined nose, above a fanciful curved beak and protruding, hummingbird-like tongue. The beak is studded with brass upholstery tacks. The mask has an overall black/brown patina, and it's age is estimated as 19th/20th century. It comes with a custom-made steel display stand.

Dan masks embody spirits of the forest who request (through dreams) that masks be made so they can "appear" before the people. A bird mask is considered a harbinger of good luck, and the inclusion of white (metal) on the mask reinforces that message.

Approx. 16H x 9W x 10D, 20.5H on stand (inches).

Private Collection, Massachusetts, Private Collection, New York


Good condition with evidence of use and age.

NOTE: If documentation is not listed, the lot is sold without documents.

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