A Good Quality Masquerade Ball Mask in the Form of Butterfly Wings with Skull Decoration


Origin: English
Period: Late Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1990
Mask: 8 inches high x 5 inches wide (all at maximum)

The white metal framed gem set spider web effect butterfly shaped mask, beset with a plethora of white paste stones, with smaller stylised butterfly and skull motifs surmounted to the nasal bridge and tied to the reverse with a black satin band.

There is some weakness to one or two junctures but overall the condition is essentially very good. With no loss or damage to report.

Masquerade balls were a feature of the Carnival season in the 15th century, and involved increasingly elaborate allegorical Royal Entries, pageants and triumphal processions celebrating marriages and other dynastic events of late medieval court life.  John James Heidegger, a Swiss count who arrived in London in 1708, is credited with having introduced the Venetian fashion of a semi-public masquerade ball, to which one might subscribe, to England, London in the early eighteenth century, with the first being held at Haymarket Opera House. Masks themselves are used almost universally and maintain their power and mystery both for their wearers and their audience.

A very finely made piece of delicate costume jewellery with a gothic twist, which, if looked after, will prove a choice antique of the future.