September 16, 2017 09:00 AM EDT Asheville, North Carolina


Native Alaskan Medicine Man Mask

late 19th/early 20th century, possibly Yup'ik, inscribed verso "Alaskan Indian/ Medicine Man Mask/ Presented by Frances Pearle Mitchell/1928", carved, incised and polychromed wood, humanoid form, with movable hinged mouth, inset wood teeth, holes along upper edge, 8-1/8 x 5 in.; with custom Plexi-glass stand

Notes: Shaman's masks were often made in pairs. This important mask is one of a nearly identical pair collected by Frances Pearle Mitchell in the early 1900s on her travels around the globe. By the 1930s she donated the bulk of her collection to the Museum of Anthropology, University of Missouri, including this mask's mate. As part of the Museum's Mitchell Collection, item number MAC 1966-0701 , that mask is one of the most popular items on display. Of the two matching masks, the one offered in our sale is the only one bearing an inscription.  

Provenance:Frances Pearle Mitchell; probably acquired from Mathias Komar, 1960s; Private North Carolina Collection; Probably Mathias Komor, New York, New York, circa 1960s or 1970s; A signed statement from the consignor regarding the provenance of this object will be provided to the buyer.


grime, mouth hinged with old copper wire, vertical cracks showing old glue repair running from the two hinge holes on body of mask only (not chin), old surface cracks and chips to carved edges consistent with age and wear

Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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