This antique mask has seen some things in its life! Late 19th Century - Early 20th.It started out as a. "Pedro de Alvarado", but during its last leg of life was was transformed into a "Pedro Portocarrero". Pedro Portocarrero was Alvardo's right hand man during the conquest and looked very similar minus the blond i. Although there is no moreria (rental shop) masks on the back of this mask there are several things that strongly attest to its master craftsmanship and time/dedication to create it. Please take note, there appears to be an old repair as most obviously seen from the rear of the mask running vertically on the right. Its the first I've ever seen... A peg of wood has been inserted to look like a tongue. Also notice the way the skin wrinkles as it meets the upper nose... An impressive artist capturing of this subtle detail.
The carver also went to great lengths to ensure this mask fit snugly, was deeply carved, and was comfortable to wear in the nose and chin areas. Look at the tip of the nose... This thing has probably close to a dozen paint layers in terms of thickness. To me paint layers are rather remarkable... To my knowledge repairs and repaints are only done as necessary.
A moreria shop wouldn't just repaint a mask unless it needed it. So if this mask was danced once annually and had say 10 paint layers then this would rather easily attest to far more years of actual use.. Check this interesting article out... Its a picture of a antique mask and the paint layers of a similar aged Guatemalan mask: Penn Museum.
This is a rare, museum quality artifact. Some masks of my collection are up for sale; Check out my other items. The item "Antique Gold-leafed Guatemalan Dance Mask Alvarado to Portocarrero Conversion" is in sale since Tuesday, January 7, 2014. This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\Latin American".
The seller is "maskmonger" and is located in Freeport, Maine. This item can be shipped worldwide.