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African-style Mask, Benin Court, Nigeria
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Anyone familiar with traditional African art will instantly recognize the debt this mask owes to the 9 1/2" tall 16th century ivory girdle mask from the Treasury of Benin King Ovonramwe.  Most of the stylistic elements of the original are present: the elongated ovoid shape, the matching headdress and collar, the shape of the hair outline, even the piercings of the pupils and forehead for inlays which are also missing in the original. Nevertheless, this wall plaque does not aim for faux authenticity through duplication.  It is much larger, the delicately carved crown of Portuguese soldiers has been replaced by a feather-like headdress, the exquisite curvilinear braided collar is rendered in abstract cross-hatching.  In other words, this wall plaque intended for decorative display only.  It suceeds quite well as such.  The mask is made of alabastrite - a stone-based polyresin which can be intricately molded to produce highly detailed  works of art.   Imported prior to 2006.  
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