18th Century England’s Tradition or Vintage Halloween Masks? – What does the Photo Portray?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Update: After marking the Facebook post as false, the posts by TIA.ge and Luka Luka were corrected.

On August 17th, the Facebook user Luka Luka posted a photo of a masked woman in the group “Freedom”. The description of the post claimed that in 18th century England if a girl could not get married before the age of 20, she would be considered very ugly and could pose a danger to society; Therefore, similar masks were made for these women. The photo carries the logo of the agency TIA. The photo with the same description appeared on the Facebook page of TIA.ge on May 23rd.


The description of the photo is false. In fact, the picture belongs to the photographer Tara Mapes, who organised a vintage Halloween photoshoot. No open-source contains information about the tradition of forcing unmarried women to wear a mask in 18th century England.

In reality, the photo attached to the posts mentioned above belongs to the photographer Tara Mapes. Her Instagram account “Enchanted Eye Creations” has more than 3,000 followers. The pictures from the Halloween photoshoot were published on this very account in October 2018.



Last year, the author published the photos on the BoredPanda website with the following comment:

“All things vintage make my inner child happy. Combine that with some old school vintage Halloween masks and I’m in squealing inner child heaven. Whenever I see vintage images of children wearing papier-mâché masks in the past, that they most certainly made at home, I wonder if they knew how long they’d be terrifying the future. Every one of them is 100% more terrifying than the top 10 horror movies trending on Netflix. That’s my jam. So my sister and I decided to make some of our own.”

As for the photo description published on Georgian Facebook pages, open sources do not contain information regarding a tradition established in 18th century England, that a girl unable to get married before the age of 20 was forced to wear a mask.

In 18th century England, wearing a mask by women was a fashionable trend, although the real reason behind the practice was to avoid suntan. These Venetian masks called Moretta were black in colour and oval in shape. Similar masks can be found on the canvases of 18th-century European artists:

“Portrait of a Woman with Mask” by Rosalba Carriera, 1720-1730. Source: Wikipedia.


“Young Girl Holding a Mask” by Charles-Antoine Coypel, 1745. Source: Wikipedia

Artworks of the 18th Century Italian painter Felice Boscaratti. Source: Artnet

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Topic: Identity
Country: Great Britain

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