Although exhibiting many classic maiden mask features, this old example has an equal amount of aberrant characteristics for such masks: its form is narrow and deep compared to most examples, the wood is of medium-heavy density with a pithy core which has been left in-place at the top, but removed at the bottom where the hole was intentionally bored-out, indicating the mask was displayed and probably stored on a pole rather than worn (since there are no holes for strapping). A whitened surface exists, but has been altered in its history, darkening the color and hue to a greenish tone in some places. More typically, a high, domed forehead with diamond-shaped scarification, a ridged coiffure in elaborate, segmented form, pursed, puffy lips, and closed, swollen eyes, are present. The mask's features are distinctly carved to represent the portrait of a female ancestor whose image was believed to be effective against witchcraft. With an encrusted, deep, aged patina, overall. 12.25"H x 7.25"W, from the southern region of Gabon. Early 20th c. Provenance: Bart family estate, NYC and FL since the 1960's.