Wonderfully ferocious mask of the Dharmapala Mahakala. This deity is one of the protectors of the Dharma (Buddhist law), but is mainly popular with Mongolian and Tibetan nomads because traditionally he is viewed as the protector of the yurt and tent. This was crafted from chased and repoussé steel alloy which is a much more difficult medium to work than softer copper. This dates to circa 19th century, with traces of pigments on the eyes and crevices around the mouth ears. There is a rough black patina on the back. This also has handspun a cotton gauze lining on the back- possibly this worn during Tantric rituals or celebrations. H: 26cm/10.2in x W: 18.cm/7.1.