I started collecting these vintage paper masks a few years ago. As the collection grows, I pin them to my bookcase, one above the other, like a totem pole.
They are cut out from cereal boxes of the 1940s.
I often find them at the St. Lawrence Antique Market in Toronto. It would be quite easy to acquire a selection of these yourself, thanks to online auction websites.
These are not in mint condition and are less valuable to serious collectors. However, that these were played with and survived sixty or seventy years in an attic toy box, they are all the more valuable to me. These masks tell a greater story than would a pristine cereal box I’d only be able to handle with cotton gloves.
These masks make great reference material and provide lots of inspiration when sketching. They are a wonderful example of early 20th century illustration styles that have had a big influence on my work.