We have always considered and collected these commercial masks and helmets as industries tribal art. Examples can be elegant in their simplicity or bazaar and complex. They are always unique, suprising and filled with personality.
Very Large Ophtalmotrope
What is an an ophthalmotrope? An ophthalmotrope is an Apparatus for demonstrating the movements of the eye and the action of the different muscles which produce them|consisting essentially of a model eyeball to which are attached strings and pulleys to duplicate the line force of the muscles. We think this example is most likely French from the early 20th century. The base is marble with paw feet. It’s also quite large at well over 3 foot tall. This instrument is very complete. It also includes additional parts to set the mechanics up in a different way. In the pictures above the strings are attached to a keyboard. The alternative replaces the keyboard with string guide with a dozen hanging tubular weights. This is one of the largest and most decorative examples we have seen. I have only seen pictures of ophtalmotropes and never one this Fine and complete. It’s as rare and impressive show piece. 38 in.Hx17 in.Wx19 in.D $12,000