This striking, repoussé mask depicts Bhairava, a fierce manifestation of the Hindu god Shiva. He bears Shiva’s effigy at the base of his foliate skull tiara. Flaming hair, bulging eyes, and earrings made of serpents are all associated with Bhairava. This mask-like form of his image is ubiquitous because of its ritual significance. During the Indrajatra festival of Nepal, devotees drink beer or wine funneled through the gaping mouth of this head. Compare with a clay mask of Bhairava with similar modeling of the physiognomy, hair and crown (Himalayan art resource item no. 58608). The repoussé figure however, retains much greater detail, particularly with the eyebrows and moustache which have been rendered to resemble flames. For further comparison, two other repoussé close masks of slightly smaller dimensions, one sold at Christie's New York, 21 March 2012, lot 821 and the other one on 21 March 2018 lot 307.