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A buyer's guide to wall masks

A wall mask is distinct from a face mask and is used mainly as a decoration. Wall masks can be hung on the wall and are collector’s items. Artistic decorative masks can be very expensive and are generally within a price range of a 100 to more than 1000 pounds. One must remember that ceramic masks are an art form.

Wall masks are artistic and decorative

One can hang any sort of mask on the wall. Every country and every tribe in a country has its own peculiar face masks. African, Eskimo, Japanese, Chinese and Indian face masks are an expression of some artistic and intellectual aspect of mythology, and drama. On the other hand, we have masks and ceramic plaques made solely for decoration purposes. European masks are truly imaginative creations.

Clarice Cliff and Stephan Dakon

Famous British names in wall masks are Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper, Crown Devon, Beswick, Myott and J. H. Cope. Famous European creators of wall masks are Goldscheider, Dux, Darouk Keramos, Goebel and Stephan Dakon. Czech Masks especially Royal Dux are also high on the list of expensive wall masks. Most of the surviving ceramic wall masks are from the early twentieth century, anything earlier than that will have a huge price tag.

Nefertiti and Ginger Rogers

Many famous people have been the subjects of wall masks and these include Marlene Dietrich (Rudolf Podany, Keramos Wiener Kunsterkeramik), Bing Crosby (Royal Dux), Nefertiti, Ginger Roger (Royal Dux), Gracie Fields (Goebel), Madonna (Leonardene) and many more. The choice of subject is so individual for the buyer and the creator that it results in wall masks which are highly priced for their quaintness.

Expert advice and intense study

History can sometimes be the explanation for an abundance of a certain kind of mask. The British Empire in Africa explains the many African masks in England. Nostalgic examples of ceramic wall plaques are the replicas of road signs of Ireland in ceramics. People use these to remind them of their home town. Thus, it could be ‘Waterford’ for someone and ‘Tipperary’ for another person. A great pictorial wall plaque is the Little Fiddler by Hummel.
Extra care If the intention behind acquiring a wall mask is to start an antique collection, then extra care should be taken while buying them. The mask should always be bought from an established and reputable source. The rear of the mask is a good starting point. If it is too white and fresh-looking, then there are chances of it being a fake. The inner colour should be yellowed with age and have some tiny cracks. Wall masks are so varied that an intense study of the subject should be made. They are great investments and give visible pleasure when displayed artistically on a wall.

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