Its exceptionally hard to date this mask, the techniques used here date back over a thousand years. (Wire has of course been more recently added).
This is particularly exciting as its clearly been used/danced as attested by.. Every inch of this mask has a thick patina, including where the wearer's face never touched, which means this thing has been heavily danced for 30, 40, 50+ years!
The reverse of the nose has been ergonomically recessed for the wearer's comfort. The string holes have a ton of wear where the string once held onto the mask and that slowly rubbed against the wood as the dancer jumped around. Made of a single block of highly aged wood (likely 2+ years of aging). This is a dying art unfortunately which has been telling historical arts for thousands of years.
Last I knew, there were a dozen or less master mask makers in the greater Tokyo area. Its exceptionally rare to find a used/danced Japanese piece.That all said, its high quality, antique, danced, and its condition is commensurate with its age... So its a bit of a shame that they would loose sight of this piece's cultural importance. MASATOYO most likely being the artisan. SAKU referencing to the character/dance?
Absolutely stunning three-dimensional feathering done at the upper portions of this mask. This is a musuem quality, culturally used artifact from Japan. It could literally be 500 years old!Approximately 10 x 7 inches. Other masks of my collection might be up: Check out my. 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, Japan/Japanese Wooden OWL Mask -Ethnographic/Cultural Asset" is in sale since Thursday, June 4, 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.