The masquerade mask conceals the features surrounding the eyes. This type of mask has of course been popularized by the 16th century Venetian masquerade balls. Masquerade balls have originated from 14th and 15th century carnival celebrations in Europe, including the lower-class society. Due to popular demand, these festivities quickly gained popularity in aristocratic society; The notorious balls of the day would quickly be consumed in the arrival of Kings and other royal entries. At these events people would wear masks covering their faces to cause anonymity and the participants could engage in a night full of gluttony and lust.
These masks would be ornate in detail. Masquerade masks can be made of anything, but usually are not particularly durable, as they are intended to be built for style and have some level of comfort. This type of mask is typically designed to add a level of mystique and elegance to the wearer; it is customary for the mask to include feathers along the edges to enhance the overall style and shape. Different stones or minerals may also be embedded into the trim or placed in specific orientations along the surface.
Masquerade masks are great at changing a persons’ facial features and either enhancing or simply altering form completely. Nowadays, these masks are a novelty item, and masquerade balls have been downgraded to party themes. The “night of risk” motif within masquerade balls arose from Gustav III’s (King of Sweden from 1771) assassination, where a disgruntled nobleman entered the room in median disguise to kill the King mid-dance.