Southeast Asia, Indonesia, East Java, ca. early to mid-20th century CE. A hand-carved wooden dance mask depicting an expressive countenance painted with red, black, and white pigments. The presented character is known as a Buta, a demonic entity that is a primary component of the Topeng dance narrative. Buta demons are meant to challenge the forces of benevolence and good but are eventually defeated in heroic fashion. The wide-eyed mask bears a prominent nose with flared nostrils, a gaping mouth revealing a row of copper-lined teeth, a horsehair mustache, and a carved-out verso; slit-form eye holes enable the wearer to see out. Lucite display stand for photography purposes only. Size: 6" W x 8.2" H (15.2 cm x 20.8 cm)
Provenance: private Johnson collection, Los Angeles, California, USA
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Minor nicks and abrasions to nose, face, peripheries, and verso, with fading, chipping, and light staining to areas of original pigmentation, slight bending to copper teeth panels, and minor insect damage. Nice traces of original pigment throughout. Strung with metal wire on verso for mounting.