Saturday, October 6, 2018

Masks and Theatrical Jokers

This article has been obsoleted and is replaced by:
-    Archaeological masks
-    Topsy Turvy Masks

One of the most focused sections of the joker collections has masks and a little theatrics.

Here's a quick overview by video of the 18 jokers in this section (as of 10/2018). Yes, it's a small section but a longish article. Spoiler: It's worth it to get to the bottom of the article: Great visuals!!!

Want a closer look? Here's a few shots followed by a summary of the currently 18 masked jokers.

This mischievous joker is clearly having fun but up to no good.  I imagine we could be good friends.

Here too, a sense of humor creeps out from behind the mask.

 This mask is not a toy and he's clearly not fooling around.

And he's not alone in the world. Here's the back showing that there's a real mob of these fellows.

 Here are the traditional symbols of the theater, the happy and sad masks. Symbol comedy and tragedy.

The concept of modern theater was largely developed in the Golden Age of Greece. I think this mask dates from then.  From reading Teaching History with 100 Objects, I think this might be a statue of a Greek theatric mask (the originals were not made of clay and didn't last. And I quote:

With its exaggerated, grotesque features, this terracotta model shows the mask worn by the old man character in many comedies of the 300s BC and later. He has a wide grin, furrowed brow and bald head and wears a wreath with ivy leaves and clusters of berries. The masks worn in tragedies were different, with idealised features set in calm, serious, or sometimes pained expressions. 

And two more variations of the masks symbolizing the theater.

 Here's another array of masks. Don't know much about them.

This gorgeous mask is from the Beijing Opera.
 And here is the back of the Beijing Opera Joker.

Picking up the temperature a little, here's a pair of very contemporary jokers with masks.  WOW!

This lovely lady is a tricky one. I'm talking about how I'm supposed to think about her.  Should I think of her as a juggler? There is a juggler joker section but it is large and a little impersonal.  She's also scantily dressed and could be sent to the girlie joker section of the collection. But she is in the mask section not only because this is an elite section and I'm partial to her but also because she is both wearing a mask and juggling masks which earns her a spot in the mask and theatrical section. She's certainly theatrical with her spotlight creating a shadow which reveals her inner animal, her daemon, her totem.

We're near the end of the show folks. 

Here's a new masked joker that I added Oct 2019.  When I showed it in the joker collectors group on Facebook, I learned from the wise Tom Van Berkum:  "This mask joker is from the Japanese ‘Mikimoto’ deck made by Nintendo - Kyoto in 1972."

And here are the 18 jokers that made up the mask and theater section in 2018, shown with their backs (for Hillary). Today, )ct 2019, there are 45 mask jokers and it's one of my favorite sections.

For a special treat, here are some shots of one part of my mask collection. Do NOT be confused by the fact that in my mask collection, there is a joker! I know it's confusing to have masks in a joker collection and a joker in a mask collection.  

There are also the two headed mask jokers which are listed in the two headed section. All duplex, topsy, or two headed jokers go into the topsy section which is organized into subsections as follows: