Mangan Mask, Lower Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
height 17in (43.2cm)
Serge Brignoni Collection, Switzerland
John Hewitt, London, 1970
Private Collection, New York
Serge Brignoni was a Swiss avant-garde painter and sculptor. His collection of ethnic art is now housed in the Museo delle Culture in Lugano.
An exceptionally mysterious mask, finely stone-carved in thin, lozenge form with pierced eyes and mouth, the nose is carved in characteristically Mangan bird beak, looped form, the cheeks and brow accented with deeply carved grooves; fine, aged, dark-brown patina with encrustations; old wear and losses to the edges.