"Authentic" shrunken head up for auction

 Images  Architectural Collectibles Garden Decorative Art Furniture Rare Antiques Classic Cars Fountains Paintings Louis Icart Jewelry American Victorian French Red Baron Images Ac4269-[1024X768]-1 This "authentic cased shrunken head" will soon be up for auction at Red Baron Collectible Antiques Gallery. I was curious about how "authentic" it is, so I called the gallery. The women I spoke to told me right off the bat that it is an "animal head." I asked if she knew what kind of animal. She said she did not, and added that the gallery has very little information about the piece. She expects it to sell in the range of $1200-$1500.
Authentic cased shrunken head


  1. Sorry, I’ve already got one. I got mine on ebay for $40, although you can get rougher looking ones there for as low as $5. Gafftastic!

  2. If you like shrunken heads, the display at the Ripleys in NYC is a must see. When I worked their grand opening a couple years ago it was purportedly the largest collection on display anywhere, regardless, it is still one of my favorite portions of the collection and I visit it whenever I return there.

  3. When I was younger you could see a couple of real shrunken heads at the Chicago Museum of Natural History, (One with red hair if I’m not mistaken) years later I went back to see them and they had been removed, It was not PC to display real dead artifacts anymore, or maybe the relatives didn’t like the public seeing their little kin.

  4. Last I heard, the Pink Palace museum in Memphis still had one as the centerpiece of their collection (literally; when you walked in the center hall, the head was right there in a case).

  5. The eyelashes and brows don’t look very authentic to me. It looks old, but made to fool. Probably a sideshow piece or made for tourists.

  6. I was about to tip you to the great collection at the Field Museum in Chicago, that I spent many hours grokking,starting at age five, but found this on the museum website:

    Why were the shrunken heads from South America taken off display?
    The shrunken heads from the Shuara (Jivaro) culture of lowland Ecuador were taken off display when the South America Hall was recently converted into the new Museum store.


  7. Looks like a small monkey head shaved to look human. Look up “Tamarin” and see what I mean.

  8. oh man — i work RIGHT down the road from red baron’s. wonder if the lil’ guy’s on display? i should try to pay him a visit (and take pics, if allowed)!

    oh, and my vote’s on “shaved monkey head” too.

  9. i have one of these over here. no monkey head. just a sculpture of a head, made from animal skin. bright parts and structures are shaved. the skin is quite stiff.

    animal, yes. animal skin.

    head, yes. head sculpture.


  10. I’ve sold a couple of these on ebay years ago. They’re made of sheep hide and hair. You find them in baskets in Ecuadorean souvenir shops for about $10 each. They’re great conversation starters.

    1. Sample Conversation Starting:
      A) Welcome to my apartment!
      B) Oh, delightful!
      A) Have you seen my shrunken head?
      B) Why no, may I?
      A) You may! And here it is!
      B) Oh, my! This is truly a marvel!
      A) Indeed.
      B) Yes.
      A) …
      B) Okay, well I have to go now.
      A) Goodbye!

  11. Last I checked (a year or two ago) the American Museum of Natural History in NYC still had theirs on display, and they’re some beauties. Three humans and one monkey, if I remember correctly.

    I’m pretty sure this one is goat skin, as that’s what all of the high-quality heads coming out of Ecuador seem to be made of.

  12. The word ‘authentic’ really should be banned. It is meaningless.

    In this context, it’s an underhand way of implying ‘genuine’, despite the fact that this is not a shrunken human head, probably not a shrunken head, and possibly not actually a head.

  13. Hey would anyone know how much a real shrunken human head from Ecuador go for?
    I have 2 as far as I know they’ve been in the family for the last 45 years but I think is time to let go.

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