Goat of Mendes Mask
In 1968, Arnold and Patricia Crowther went to their local cinema to see the newly released, The Devil Rides Out, made by Hammer Films and based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Dennis Wheatley.
A year or so later Arnold and Patricia were invited to a fancy dress party. Arnold was a talented maker of props and puppets and was inspired to create a mask based on the figure of the Goat of Mendes, which appears in the film at a climatic moment during a Sabbat on the Eve of Beltane. The mask was created using papier-mâché and fake fur and soon afterwards became woven into the ritual practises of their Gardnerian coven.
During one of Simon’s trips up to Sheffield to meet Patricia, the mask was produced and offered to the museum. We were of course delighted and no sooner had it arrived in Boscastle, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, asked if they could loan the mask for their exhibition, ‘You Say You Want a Revolution’, which has since travelled to New York and our other items are now in Melbourne, apart from the mask.
Items such as these are a rare find, given their fragility and we are delighted that the mask has been seen by so many people but we felt it was time for it to return to the museum to take pride of place in our last gallery space on Modern Magic.