Latin America, Guatemala, ca. 20th century CE. A unique and fantastical pair of hand-painted metal festival masks of demonic forms. Flanked by two enormous, pointed ears, the first vizard presents with mesmerizing, target-like eyes in vibrant hues of yellow, red, black, and white, a broad nose with two openwork nostrils, and large, red lips held open to display a pair of sharp, white fangs. Coated in greenish-brown paint, the face is highly textured with nubbin-like bumps across the forehead, slanted striations of stippling for eyebrows, risen cheekbones, a double-arched nose, and recessed lines throughout representing wrinkles. A pair of hoop earrings dangle at the sides of this eccentric visage. The second mask exhibits the form of a tree frog, squatting as though about to hop away with a risen face in the center of its back. Painted in shades of verdant green and yellow with risen bumps of red and black throughout, the frog has four bent legs with clearly delineated fingers and toes and target-like eyes of red and black. Size: 15.5" W x 21.5" H (39.4 cm x 54.6 cm)
The central visage displays a creamy beige hue, as well as sizable almond-shaped eyes with blood red pupils, stubbed black lashes, thick eyebrows, a projecting, pointed nose, pinkish cheeks, and an open mouth bearing gritting, brown teeth. Similar to the first, this vizard is adorned in many undulating striations that depict wrinkles. Two slits below the crows-feet-laden eyes of both allow for their wearers to see out from these haunting visors, while three circular apertures on each permit the masks to be strapped to one's head.
Provenance: private Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA collection; ex-Dr. David Harner collection, Springdale, Arkansas, USA, acquired between the 1950s and 1960s
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Expected surface wear as shown with some light bending, but form of both is still clear. Minor nicks and abrasions commensurate with age. Otherwise, both are excellent and intact with light earthen deposits