only the best AND excellent value - we have been importing our beautiful Venetian masquerade and carnival masks from a handful of the best workshops in Venice for just over 20 years. They are made by skilled Venetian artisans using traditional techniques in sculpture, moulding & papier mache. Each mask is hand painted and decorated using silver & gold metal leaf, braiding, glitter, sheet music, lace, waxed paper, best quality feathers and imitation pearls, stones & crystals. Some of the less expensive Venetian masks are made of quality resin, with plaster of paris coating, making them more affordable but just as impressive. Our masks are the genuine article from Venice - they DO NOT come from China. The masquerade masks are fitted with ribbons to tie around the head but most of them can also be fitted onto sticks (at extra cost) if preferred. Due to the individual artisitic nature of the artists from the various mask workshops, and the materials available to them at any given time, there is likely to be some slight variation in the colour and design of the feathers and decoration applied to each mask compared with the pictures on our website. Also, the feathers are all natural and will have unique natural characteristics of colour, size, volume etc.
having to wear spectacles? - unfortunately Venetian masquerade masks & specs don't work too well togehter so a lot of our customers choose a mask with a stick. Our decorative gold or silver masquerade sticks can be fixed to either side of any half mask at an extra cost of £7.50 (or, of course, you can find one of your own) If the Venetian mask has tall feathers we will supply the stick separate from the mask ready for you to glue on yourself. Some bespectacled customers have found that the leather Venetian masks and shaped masks are supple enough to wear under or over glasses but each to their own. Others have been more creative and glued old lenses to the mask!
ideal for partying - all of our Venetian masks are designed to be worn in the grand tradition of Masquerade. They are strong and durable and yet light and comfortable to wear. The 'half masks' (eye masks) are especially good for parties as they give you the freedom to talk, eat, drink etc. Why not elaborate and extend the decoration of the rest of your face and neck with stage make-up? Our Venetian masks are also a work of art worthy of display and, to hang them on the wall, we recommend that you tie a loop of nylon thread or fishing line through the eyes to make a hanging loop.
event & bulk orders - over the years we have proudly supplied numerous private events, Venetian Balls or Masquerade Balls including weddings, charity functions and corporate events. We are able to offer discounts for bulk orders as follows:
order value £200-£499 = 5% discount; £500-£999 = 10% discount; £1000 - £2999 = £15% and anything over £3000 = 20% discount.
all Venetian masquerade masks for bulk orders will be custom made in Venice so please allow 4-5 weeks for delivery. If the Venetian masks are selected from our current stocks delivery can be sooner. Full payment is required with order. Prices include VAT and free delivery.
availability - Our stocks of Venetian masks vary from week to week as we sell them to customers visiting our retail outlet in Castle Ashby as well as online. If the Venetian mask you have chosen is unfortunately out of stock when you order we will notify you of the expected availability date and ask if you wish to change or cancel your order. Each masks is handmade and the shade / details of the design may vary very slightly to the picture shown. Please do not hesitate to call us if you need any advice or information regarding our masks.
history - the crowded narrow streets of 13th century Venice provided little or no privacy to those who lived there. In such a small world both paupers and courtesans alike were constantly under threat of public scrutiny, judgement and dangerous repercussion. The wearing of a masquerade mask, and the freedom and privacy it allowed, enabled the wearer to avoid public recognition and thus express themselves freely, to involve themselves in delicate, secretive, deceptive or even illegal and dangerous activities (flirting, gambling, adultery, robbery, double-dealing etc) - safe in the knowledge that nobody would know who they were. The art of Masquerade became a normal part of everyday Venetian life and also fostered a relentless moral decline! From the 14th century decrees were introduced to forbid the wearing of masks all year round and 'masquerading' eventually became restricted to special carnivals and festivals. The art of masquerade was reintroduced in the 1980's with te revival of traditional mask making techniques. Carnivals throughout the year still drawer visitors from all over the world with the main Venetian event taking place in late January/February. Carnivale (literally meaning 'without meat before Lent') provides a wonderful opportunity for people from all walks of life to dress up and masquerade together in the magical streets of Venice.