Super Rare Antique Cherokee Wood Mask (ex. Sotheby's) Native American 19thc For SaleI'm offering a super rare early worn Cherokee Buffalo mask. I tried to collect these masks but for 7 years could not find another of this age and quality. There are many newer ones made for the tourist trade. This is not one of those. Great Provenance: Trotta Bono-Ramona Morris-Sotheby's sale May 22, 1989 Lot 279. (I will include the page from the old catalog) You would have to contact Sotheby's to see where it came from before they had it.
Most likely from Big Cove area in North Carolina 1890-1910. Possibly made by Will West Long. I would guess not as it is unique and crude in fashion and not as symmetrical as his masks.There is an old repair at the back of the head that seems to have been made a long time ago. It is two cracks that split and were repaired. You hardly notice it when displayed. there are two holes at the sides for wearing and one at top and bottom that have opened up. These are very minor for a mask of this age. Tip of one horn chipped off but has great patina over it..may have been orginal.
The mask has amazing patina, black pigment and red pigment in the strange smile. Inside, written in fine pyrography is "Cherokee Buffalo Mask" prob. for museum collection. This may in fact be a bear mask but you can decide.
I know a lot about these masks and the makers so please email with any questions. I am moving overseas and only keeping my "smalls".
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