Offered by Galerie Mermoz
Object sold with a certificate of authenticity
It is a mask with human features sitting upon a bundle containing the mummy of a deceased. The embalming of bodies was common in pre-Hispanic Andean cultures.
Carved with care, this piece respects the codes of representation of Peruvian fardo (bundle) masks. Its geometric face, covered with significant traces of red paint, is in a quadrangular shape and the physiognomic details are reduced to the essentials, with no naturalistic intention. The slightly raised eyebrows form wide curves above large elliptical eyes inlaid with white shells. Originally, these sockets were to be decorated in their center with stone discs or resin elements, circular and dark, representing the pupils.
We note here the size of the fine, aquiline nose, strongly projected forward. The sinusoidal folds descending from the nose to the lower jaw are supported, creating a sort of triangle in which fits an expressionless mouth, signified by a simple groove. In general, the shape of the eyes, nose, mouth and facial folds are typical of the human faces of ancient Peru, all civilizations combined.
The top of the head is flat - like the sides of the face of the rest - and the forehead is unpainted. This indicates that the mask must have been wearing wig of hair, embellished with a headband, turban, or braided hat.
The dark brown spots visible on the cheekbones as well as the light band on the bridge of the nose reveal the probable presence of metallic ornaments, which are now missing.
A short rectangular handle is outlined beneath this impassive face, with hypnotic expression. There are five attachment holes allowing it to be fixed to the funeral bundle, two on each edge and another located in the center of the forehead, on the upper edge.
30 000 €
40 000 €
26 750 €