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Nuo masks of Tudi Gong and 2 Xiaopo. 2 Xiaopo: small masks for children. Very humorous set of 3, beautiful craftsmanship and nice backside patina.
Tudigong: the "God of soil" and grains, essential in an agrarian country. He is the main actor in Wunuo cult, usually represented with a smiling face, and long eyebrows and beard often missing or replaced later; when missing, we can see holes where the hair was fastened. Chinese character for "happiness" on the cap.
Tudi Xiaopo: "Little Goddess of the land", the spouse of Tudi Gong.
In fact, as we can see, Tudigong had 2 spouses: 1 with a smiling face, the other one with a severe one.
These masks among others were recoloured regularly. Very nice inside patina. Tudi Gong: 25x15 cms, Tudi Xiaopo: 21x11 cms. 19th C. Tudi: NM 53; RM 144,146,154,184,214; MC 69,92-99 . Tudi Xiaopo: RM 214 (see bibliography)
Set sold with its own stand.