The Harlequin and His Mask

A Harlequin, or alrecchino, is most commonly recognized as a comical character from the famous theatrical performance, the Italian Commedia dell’Arte. The first appearance of the harlequin was during the 16th century. There have been a number of theories attempting to describe the origins of the harlequin, which really adds to his mystery. Some say the harlequin came from Italy, while others believe he was originally French.

The general idea of a harlequin is a slow-thinking yet energetic figure. He has been associated with stupidity but throughout history, the harlequin has proved to be lively and witty. He was an entertainer, an acrobat to be more specific. He would never resort to simple and reserved acts of entertainment. He was the one performing the back flips and other acrobats as well as putting himself in mischievous situations. In other words, he possessed a very clown-like persona.

Clicking the links below will open a new window in your browser with a full description of the Mardi Gras mask for sale on eBay.

Choose your country:

Change Sort Order:

Harlequin Pagliacci Auguste Handpainted Porcelain Posable Clown Doll Blue Coat
Harlequin Pagliacci Auguste Handpainted Porcelain Posable Clown Doll Blue Coat
$34.95
Buy It Now for only: $34.95
Half Doll Porcelain Harlequin Woman Vintage Party Woman “Polka Dots” 2 1/2”
Half Doll Porcelain Harlequin Woman Vintage Party Woman “Polka Dots” 2 1/2”
$25.00
Buy It Now for only: $25.00
Musical Show Stoppers Purple Jester Harlequin Porcelain Doll Mardi Gras Wind up
Musical Show Stoppers Purple Jester Harlequin Porcelain Doll Mardi Gras Wind up
$64.99
Buy It Now for only: $64.99
Christmas Harlequin Doll Style B
Christmas Harlequin Doll Style B
$55.00
Buy It Now for only: $55.00
Christmas Harlequin Doll Style A
Christmas Harlequin Doll Style A
$55.00
Buy It Now for only: $55.00
HARLEQUIN PIERROT FRENCH MIME DOLL WITH COMEDY AND TRAGEDY MASKS! FF439QXX
HARLEQUIN PIERROT FRENCH MIME DOLL WITH COMEDY AND TRAGEDY MASKS! FF439QXX
$34.99
Buy It Now for only: $34.99
NEW R. John Wright “HARLEQUIN” Doll with Cert of Authenticity
NEW R. John Wright “HARLEQUIN” Doll with Cert of Authenticity
$325.00
Buy It Now for only: $425.00
Vintage Harlequin Pierrot Jester Doll 18
Vintage Harlequin Pierrot Jester Doll 18" Porcelain Black & Silver
$25.00
Buy It Now for only: $25.00

The arlecchino was a subservient character in all of his acts. One will immediately recognize the harlequin due to his colorful outfit that was created with patches of diamond checkered fabric. Typical colors of a harlequin outfit are blue, green and red. The harlequin mask is the most significant aspect of the ensemble. The mask is usually black or white and has a low forehead along with a wart. It is meant to cover the eyes and the area around them only. These masks were often accompanied by jester hats that had bells attached at the ends. As the harlequin would walk around he would carry a slapstick with him too.

Arlecchino usually had a love interest by the name of Columbine in the Commedia dell’Arte, but he was not always able to woo her. He was a poor soul often hungry for food and thirsty for lust. While he was physically alive and energetic, his mind was rather sluggish. He could not multi-task in his mind and his thoughts were limited. In the Commedia dell’Arte, the harlequin falls for a number of strange traps that he brings upon himself.

The high-spirited and clever harlequin often appears in theatrical performances known as harlequinades. He is always caught in tight situations and is never the one to seek revenge. He often wears a black mask that he can lift in order to reveal himself.

The character of the harlequin has evolved numerous times over the centuries. The 18th Century, however, brought an end to the fantasy and witty characteristics of the harlequin. He became less complex and more one-dimensional.

The Harlequin reappears in modern culture in literature, music, cinema and celebrations. Pop culture has really embraced this acrobatic figure in movies such as Moulin Rouge and Batman. The Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a popular arena for venerating the story and character of the harlequin. They are still dressed in diamond patterned one-piece outfits and decorative masks. The masks are often covered with feathers and decorations. The harlequin masks cover the true identity of the figure behind it and it represents the complex nature of the persona. No one could ever really understand the harlequin.

Black Feather Masks

Beautiful black feather masquerade masks for sale. Each masquerade mask is distinct in shape and style, and it is common to match the color of your mask with the rest of your costume or clothing. Find the perfect black feather mask to wear during Mardi Gras, Carnival, or a masquerade party by browsing the many types of black feather masks below.

Clicking the links below will open a new window in your browser with a full description of the Peacock Masquerade Mask for sale on eBay.

Choose your country:

Change Sort Order:

Luxury Black Side Feather Lace Venice Festival Costume Masquerade Mask for Women
Luxury Black Side Feather Lace Venice Festival Costume Masquerade Mask for Women
$25.99
Buy It Now for only: $25.99
Gold Black Venetian Mask for His & Hers Couple Party Feather Masquerade Costume
Gold Black Venetian Mask for His & Hers Couple Party Feather Masquerade Costume
$23.00
Buy It Now for only: $23.00
His & Her Couple Masquerade Mask Phantom Feather for Party Prom Dance Black Gold
His & Her Couple Masquerade Mask Phantom Feather for Party Prom Dance Black Gold
$20.00
Buy It Now for only: $20.00
Venetian Party Masquerade Mardi Gras Tall Feather Mask for Men Dark Gold Black
Venetian Party Masquerade Mardi Gras Tall Feather Mask for Men Dark Gold Black
$13.99
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
Black Venice Carnival Feather Women Mask Masquerade Venetian Mardi Gras Costume
Black Venice Carnival Feather Women Mask Masquerade Venetian Mardi Gras Costume
$35.00
Buy It Now for only: $35.00
Feathered Mask Masquerade Peacock Feather New Purple Green Yellow Black
Feathered Mask Masquerade Peacock Feather New Purple Green Yellow Black
$20.00
Buy It Now for only: $20.00

Types & Styles

Types of Venetian Masks

Venetian masks were originally designed for all sorts of entertainment and games for the ruling class as well as lower classes. The masks held a symbolic purpose of disguising ones identity but they also served more functional purposes. Many of these purposes revolved around promiscuity, crime and other illicit behavior. Others wanted to free themselves from judgment and strict moral codes.

Mask-Makers and Guilds

The creation of thousands of masks would not have been possible without dedicated Venetian mask-makers. Also known as maschereri, these artisans were official members of a guild dedicated to crafting Venetian masks. They created various styles and shapes and decorated these masks with distinct features and aesthetic designs.

Venetian Mask Styles

There are three major types of Venetian Masks—the Bauta, Larva and Moretta. The Bauta was worn by men and women and was attached to a black mantle as well as a tricorn hat. The mask itself is white and completely covers the face, making it difficult to eat and speak. This was the ideal mask for the most mischievous behavior. The Larva, or Volto, is similar to the Bauta in that it is covered in white paint. These masks were made of fine wax cloth and were lighter in nature. The wearer can comfortably eat, drink and dance while remaining anonymous. They resembled a ghost lurking in the depths of the night. The Moretta was a black mask worn by women who visited convents. They held the mask in place by biting on to a button in the mouth. This prevented them from speaking.

Clicking the links below will open a new window in your browser with a full description of the Mardi Gras mask for sale on eBay.

Choose your country:

Change Sort Order:

12pc Venetian Mask Party Birthday Favors Masquerade Halloween Party Mask
12pc Venetian Mask Party Birthday Favors Masquerade Halloween Party Mask
$18.00
Buy It Now for only: $18.00
Feather Venetian Masquerade Mask for Women M8339 White
Feather Venetian Masquerade Mask for Women M8339 White
$12.34
Buy It Now for only: $12.34
Gold Black Venetian Mask for His & Hers Couple Party Feather Masquerade Costume
Gold Black Venetian Mask for His & Hers Couple Party Feather Masquerade Costume
$23.00
Buy It Now for only: $23.00
Creepy Rabbit Venetian Mask
Creepy Rabbit Venetian Mask
$22.99
Buy It Now for only: $22.99
Empress Divine Venetian Mask Silver
Empress Divine Venetian Mask Silver
$9.44
Buy It Now for only: $9.44
Venetian Mask Adult Womens Masquerade Ball Costume Accessory Fancy Dress
Venetian Mask Adult Womens Masquerade Ball Costume Accessory Fancy Dress
$12.39
Buy It Now for only: $12.39
Lace Masquerade Mask, Venetian Mardi Gras Lace Mask for Women LM 008 Black
Lace Masquerade Mask, Venetian Mardi Gras Lace Mask for Women LM 008 Black
$9.45
Buy It Now for only: $9.45
Women Venetian Glitter Masquerade Mask Feather Party Mask Costume Purple Gold
Women Venetian Glitter Masquerade Mask Feather Party Mask Costume Purple Gold
$16.99
Buy It Now for only: $16.99
Skull Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask for Men or Women, Silver Masquerade Mask
Skull Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask for Men or Women, Silver Masquerade Mask
$22.95
Buy It Now for only: $22.95
All Black Laced Women's Costume Masquerade Venetian Mask with Feathers
All Black Laced Women's Costume Masquerade Venetian Mask with Feathers
$19.95
Buy It Now for only: $19.95
Venetian Full Face Mask Masquerade Ball Prom Party Mardi Gras Halloween 13W3A
Venetian Full Face Mask Masquerade Ball Prom Party Mardi Gras Halloween 13W3A
$17.49
Buy It Now for only: $17.49
Womens Luxury Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask [Black with Purple Rhinestones]
Womens Luxury Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask [Black with Purple Rhinestones]
$14.95
Buy It Now for only: $14.95

Venetian masks range from half masks, full face masks as well as head masks. Each one is distinct in shape and style. Head masks are attached to head pieces and other parts of the costume while full-face masks and half-masks are detachable. Full-face masks and head-masks are also more elaborate and decorated. They were the preferred choice among the troubling types. The more the face is covered, the more mystical the wearer becomes.

The Art of Masquerade Masks

Images of Masquerade Party MasksThe modern revival of masquerade masks is deeply rooted in craftsmanship and the artistic qualities of the masks. While these agents of disguise originated in Venice they have been welcomed in other parts of the world including the rest of Europe and the Americas. Each region has its own style and culture surrounding these masks.

When masquerades were popular, Venetian mask-makers, or maschereri, established a guild in the early 15th century and began producing decorative masks. Attention to detail was a critical part of creating these masks and there was a range of types and styles.

There are three different types of masks including the Bauta, Moretta and Larva.

  • Bauta: These masks were originally created for the Carnival and they come in two forms. One covers the entire face while the other covers the upper area of the face.
  • Moretta: These masks originated in France and were constructed using black velvet. They were worn by women who visited convent and were attached to a veil.
  • Larva: Also known as the volto, these masks were typically white and originated in Venice. The shape is similar to the Bauta but the mask itself is made of wax cloth. They were more comfortable for dancing, eating and mingling.

Choose your country:

Change Sort Order:

Luxury Bauta Light Filigree Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask for Men [Gold]
Luxury Bauta Light Filigree Metal Venetian Masquerade Mask for Men [Gold]
$23.70
Buy It Now for only: $23.70
Traditional Venetian Bauta Mask Masquerade Party Mask Yellow Leopard Glitter
Traditional Venetian Bauta Mask Masquerade Party Mask Yellow Leopard Glitter
$14.99
Buy It Now for only: $14.99
Bauta Masquerade Mask Black Detailing
Bauta Masquerade Mask Black Detailing
$13.50
Buy It Now for only: $13.50
Bauta Masquerade Mask Silver Lace
Bauta Masquerade Mask Silver Lace
$18.00
Buy It Now for only: $18.00
Bauta Masquerade Mask Silver Detailing
Bauta Masquerade Mask Silver Detailing
$18.00
Buy It Now for only: $18.00


The original mask was created by Venetians and the mask-makers used two different methods. Papier mache was the first method which combined glue and paper strips to form the shape of the mask. These masks were generally designed to be held by a stick and to only cover the eyes. In order to create full-face masks, the artists used clay to produce molds. The mask-makers applied specialized paint and added all sorts of decorative elements including gems, beads, ribbons, natural feathers and dazzling gold leaf.

Color was a significant part of the design. Bright blues, reds, yellows, oranges and greens were the most common choices. Generally, males would wear darker colors while women would wear lighter ones. Customized masks were also possible, resulting in a vast array of unique masquerade masks. The masks were accompanied by highly elaborate and ornamental masquerade costumes during the celebrations.

The original masks were symbolic and simple. Over time, masquerade masks became more and more complex. Masquerade masks have not only been used for entertainment but they have also allowed people to hide their identities in order to participate in various activities including romantic ventures and even crime.

Black Masquerade Masks

Every masquerade mask is distinct in shape and style, and it is common to match the color of your mask with the rest of your costume or clothing. Find the perfect black mask to wear during Mardi Gras, Carnival, or a masquerade party by browsing the many types of black feather masks below.

Clicking the links below will open a new window in your browser with a full description of the Black Masquerade Masks for sale on eBay.

Choose your country:

Change Sort Order:

ILOVEMASKS Devil Krampus with Horn Metallic Black Masquerade Ball Party Mask
ILOVEMASKS Devil Krampus with Horn Metallic Black Masquerade Ball Party Mask
$29.99
Buy It Now for only: $29.99
All Black Laced Women's Costume Masquerade Venetian Mask with Feathers
All Black Laced Women's Costume Masquerade Venetian Mask with Feathers
$19.95
Buy It Now for only: $19.95
Lace Masquerade Mask, Venetian Mardi Gras Lace Mask for Women LM 008 Black
Lace Masquerade Mask, Venetian Mardi Gras Lace Mask for Women LM 008 Black
$9.45
Buy It Now for only: $9.45
His & Her Couple Masquerade Mask Phantom Feather for Party Prom Dance Black Gold
His & Her Couple Masquerade Mask Phantom Feather for Party Prom Dance Black Gold
$20.00
Buy It Now for only: $20.00
Black Venetian Masquerade Roman Greek w/ Pegasus Horse Feather Party Men's Mask
Black Venetian Masquerade Roman Greek w/ Pegasus Horse Feather Party Men's Mask
$13.99
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
Classic Venetian Mardi Gras Black Masquerade Mask for Men W7344
Classic Venetian Mardi Gras Black Masquerade Mask for Men W7344
$9.45
Buy It Now for only: $9.45
Black Red Couple Masquerade Ball Mask Pair Carnival Dance Prom Birthday Party
Black Red Couple Masquerade Ball Mask Pair Carnival Dance Prom Birthday Party
$24.25
Buy It Now for only: $24.25
Couple Black Themed Leather Mask & Clear Rhinestone Masquerade Mask
Couple Black Themed Leather Mask & Clear Rhinestone Masquerade Mask
$24.95
Buy It Now for only: $24.95

Silver Masquerade Mask

Elegant silver masquerade masks for sale from around the world. A silver mask look sharp and goes well with any black outfit. Clicking the links below will open a new window in your browser with a full description of the silver masquerade mask for sale on eBay.

Choose your country:

Change Sort Order:

Silver Ancient Venetian Mardi Gras Party Costume Mask Feather Masquerade for Men
Silver Ancient Venetian Mardi Gras Party Costume Mask Feather Masquerade for Men
$13.99
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
Lace Mardi Gras Masquerade Mask Embellished with Gems for Women Silver M7628
Lace Mardi Gras Masquerade Mask Embellished with Gems for Women Silver M7628
$8.54
Buy It Now for only: $8.54
Silver AB Rhinestone Crystal Masquerade Mask Mardi Gras Bridal /Prom Party /1340
Silver AB Rhinestone Crystal Masquerade Mask Mardi Gras Bridal /Prom Party /1340
$25.99
Buy It Now for only: $25.99
Venetian Brocade Lace Mardi Gras Prom Masquerade Mask with Rhinestones [Silver]
Venetian Brocade Lace Mardi Gras Prom Masquerade Mask with Rhinestones [Silver]
$14.95
Buy It Now for only: $14.95
Silver W. Marquise,Round Rhinestone Crystal Masquerade Mask Mardi Gras Party
Silver W. Marquise,Round Rhinestone Crystal Masquerade Mask Mardi Gras Party
$21.99
Buy It Now for only: $21.99
Silver Clear Rhinestone Masquerade Butterfly Mask Mardi Gras Party /Black Ribbon
Silver Clear Rhinestone Masquerade Butterfly Mask Mardi Gras Party /Black Ribbon
$21.99
Buy It Now for only: $21.99
Masquerade Mask Feather Lace Venetian Mardi Gras Masks for Women Silver M7629
Masquerade Mask Feather Lace Venetian Mardi Gras Masks for Women Silver M7629
$13.25
Buy It Now for only: $13.25
Silver Men's Feather Venetian Masquerade Party Mask Prom Mardi Gras Costume
Silver Men's Feather Venetian Masquerade Party Mask Prom Mardi Gras Costume
$13.99
Buy It Now for only: $13.99