"he turned his masked face in that direction" [CHAS]
You've probably seen your fair share of masks when you're out and about. But how many of them are Sherlockian?
We pulled down our Doubleday edition of the Sherlock Holmes Canon and decided to do a little research on masks. Aside from the King of Bohemia showing up in a mask and Holmes and Watson masking up before burgling the home of Charles Augustus Milverton, we couldn't recall any other significant instances of physical masks.
There were a modest number:
A Study in Scarlet:
“Belated wanderers upon the mountains spoke of gangs of armed men, masked, stealthy, and noiseless, who flitted by them in the darkness.”
"A Scandal in Bohemia":
“Be in your chamber then at that hour, and do not take it amiss if your visitor wear a mask.”
“He carried a broad-brimmed hat in his hand, while he wore across the upper part of his face, extending down past the cheekbones, a black vizard mask, which he had apparently adjusted that very moment, for his hand was still raised to it as he entered.”
"The Yellow Face":
“An instant later the mystery was explained. Holmes, with a laugh, passed his hand behind the child’s ear, a mask peeled off from her countenance, an there was a little coal black negress, with all her white teeth flashing in amusement at our amazed faces.”
"Charles Augustus Milverton":
“I have rubber-soled tennis shoes.”
“Excellent. And a mask?”
“I can make a couple out of black silk.”
“I can see that you have a strong natural turn for this sort of thing. Very good; do you make the masks.”
When it came to emotional masks, there were quite a few more: individuals such as Isadora Klein, Jonathan Small, the Rt. Honourable Trelawney Hope, Barrymore, Lady Brackenstall, and of course, Sherlock Holmes.
But if you require a physical mask and you'd like to connect it to your hobby, there are Sherlockian options.
For example, Tom Francis, BSI ("The Imperial Opera at Warsaw") sports the colors of the Baker Street Irregulars in this silk mask that was a gift from fellow Irregular Richard Olken ("Bob Carruthers"):
|Credit: Tom Francis (Facebook)|
We've noticed that the folks at Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont have begun offering masks and matching bow ties (although they're available separately as well). Here are a few Sherlock Holmes-inspired patterns.
One that caught our attention is the Afoot:
|Image courtesy of Beau Ties Ltd.|
We have a warm place in our hearts for the Beau Ties team: we interviewed their president, Cy Tall, on Episode 184 of our show. You can listen here:
If you end up with a Sherlockian-themed mask, take a photo of yourself in it and send it in. We'd love to see that your mask is afoot!