Korean masks boxed set 32 pcs. collection OLD/RARE/NR

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  • Item Category: Ethnic, Folk & Native American Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: May 01, 2008
  • Channel: Auction House

A thing of beauty to look at, display and/or collect! Truly a RARE find!

These masks are miniature replica of the traditional life-size Korean masks that were used by performers in Korean dance and drama; and also in religious rites. T are a total of 32 miniature masks in this auctioned collection. Each mask in the collection has a unique, highly detailed, HANDPAINTED design (SEE: Second and third photos below). Each design represents persons, animals or supernatural beings. Dimension of each mask piece: 1" Wide x 3/8" Deep x 1 1/8" Long. The photo above and (first one) below includes a U.S. quarter. The coin was included to show the relative size of the items.

The collection is presented in a deep/shadow box (SEE: First photo below). Each mask in the box is fastened to a burgundy-colored velvet-like fabric. The masks are further protected with a cloth padding - built-in on the inside of the box top - which lightly press down on the mask when the box is closed (SEE: Photo above). The box is hinged at the back with the box' covering material. The box is closed with a traditional Korean box clasping device: two sliver of ivory-like material inserted in an O-ring loop (SEE: Fourth photo below). The fabric covering the exterior (top and sides) of the box has a repeating pattern design of silvery-greenish ovals and squares. The exterior (under side) of the box has a light-brown and light-green repeating pattern design of small "+" signs (SEE: Fifth/Last photo below).

Material of Construction (Masks) : Ceramic

Condition : ALL the mask pieces are in PERFECT condition - NO chips, cracks, scratches or hairline on any of the mask pieces. The velvet-like fabric - covering the inside/bottom of the box - had developed smallish lighter-colored (aging) spots (SEE: Second and third photo below). The top/exterior surface of the box has slightly - barely noticeable - concaved inwards (SEE: Fourth photo below). T are three tiny spots on the under side/exterior of the box w the covering material had flaked-off (SEE: Fifth/Last photo below). The item is clean, a RARE find, and truly a thing of beauty to grace your house as a decoration, a collectors item or a conversation piece!

Dimensions : (Box) 10 1/4" Wide x 7 1/4" Long x 1 5/8" Tall

Weight, Shipping : Est. 3-4 lbs.

Item History : The item being auctioned is a family collection. Item was brought brand new in Seoul (Korea) in 1980; never used nor displayed, and have been kept by Seller during the past 30-some years in a storage box.

Cultural Background :

Masks are generally called t'al in Korean. T'alch'um - which means "mask dance", is a dance performed by masked dancers; it is also a drama with masked characters enacting persons, animals or supernatural being. The masks can be classified in two categories: religious masks and artistic masks. Some religious masks were used to expel evil spirits. Artistic masks were mostly used in dance and drama. SEE : Other images and additional info of/on Korean masks at the following link: /coding/english/sub08.asp and also at this link: /korea/image06.htm

The masks' shapes, by design, could be grotesque and greatly exaggerated, and their colors are deep and bright. Mask with less powerful expression and color, it was thought, would fail to deliver the themes of the drama. Red, black, white and other primal colors are favored for effective characterization of the masks. The colors also identify the sex and age of the characters. Most of the masks depict human faces but some represent deities, and t are also masks of animals, real and imagined.


1. The photos shown above and below are ACTUAL PHOTOS of the item.
2. NO RESERVE PRICE on this auction;
3. Seller takes extra care, time and padding material to protectively pack the auctioned item for its safe shipment & delivery to the buyer;
4. Insurance is included in the shipping rate quoted (with UPS shipm...