Boiken Bowl with Mask

A very fine food dish carved with a stylized ancestor mask projecting from one edge on the rear of the dish. A pierced, raised lug is carved at the opposit edge. The center of the dish is beautifully carved with a complex zoomorphic motif. The presence of the mask is most unusual. The nose is widely pierced through the septum and there was probably a fiber ornamentation attached and the eyes still have traces of red commercial paint. The mask appears to be a brag mask - representing a bush spirit related to hunting and possibly warfare. Boiken Plains, North Coast Sepik Region, PNG, Melanesia. Hard wood with a good patina of use and age. 49,5 cm. 19th/20th century. Ex Karin Schoubye, Neuilly.