Ancient Sepik Coastal Mask-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
Sure, we all love elegant New Guinea objects but there is something to be said for the oldest. As archetypes, the earliest of a particular style sets the precedent for everything that comes after. Of this particular Coastal Sepik style, in my opinion this mask is the most archaic. There is a total lack of artifice, just pure, raw spiritual power, and intensity. The numerous holes around the perimeter indicate the mask’s prior attachment to a number of dance costumes over the generations. There are faint traces of orange pigment around the eyes. The mask is ex. Bonham’s London, 9 December 1992, lot 124. It is of course pre-contact, stone-carved, 15 ¾” (40 cm) in height.