The making of Venetian Masks is an artisan craft, stretching back to the 1500's. This craftsmanship, carried down through generations, is evident in every mask they produce. The level of detail and time put into each mask, gives them a individual, unique look. Though two masks may be in the same overall design, little details vary in each mask and this gives each of them a look of proper craftsmanship.
This is vital for all our masks, especially for our decorative masks. When choosing to decorate your home with a decorative Venetian masquerade mask, the difference between a genuine mask and a mass produced imitations, equals that of a painting and a poster of a painting; brushstrokes are missing, everything is very uniform, and it lacks that whole air of craftsmanship.
Cheap imitations can be hard to spot and are often sold at a much lower price and occasionally they are passed off as genuine Venetian masquerade masks. This makes it important to be able to tell the difference, to ensure you are actually getting what you are paying for.
Even if you choose to buy a mask at a discounted rate, an imitation is rarely of the same high quality
. It is of course up to the individual person to decide what is most important; the quality or the price. However our policy is to only supply genuine masks, to ensure you get exactly what you pay for - whilst still keeping our prices very competitive.
Things that are worth noticing with authentic masks, is the presence of brushstrokes, the non-conformity of the shape of the masks, small variations in the decorated patterns. Imitations are instead very uniform in their shape and shell, the paint is often spray painted on, and everything carries a resemblance of it being produced in bulk.
Below is a video of Alan explaining 5 ways to distinguish a counterfeit mask and a genuine Venetian masquerade mask. It's not easy - not even for a veteran.
- Price - lower prices often means lower production costs, therefore fake. But remember they might still try to lure you into believing and paying the equivalent of a genuine mask.
- Stamp / Certificate - Unfortunately a stamp of authenticity now often points to the mask being a counterfeit. Masks with certificates of authenticity from the manufacturers are much more prone to be genuine.
- The retailer - do you get a free par of Ray Ban sunglasses with every purchase above $20? Use your sense, and ask the retailer. Most retailers will be honest about where/how it is produced.
- Inside - is it perfectly uniform or does it bear resemblance to handcraft / paper maché? A very uniform inside, could point towards it being some sort of resin, cast on a mold at a factory, rather than an artisan making it with his hands in his studio. However, just to confuse matters more, sometimes a Venetian artisan may use a mass produced mask molded base and hand paint it.
- The decorations. Do you see brushstrokes? Are there small nuances, imperfections? Or is is spray paint and decorated very uniform? Again, uniformity and the lack of detail means that it is likely mass produced.