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Moore carved a disembodied head in alabaster in 1923 and a small mask in 1924. But it was not until 1928 that he showed a serious interest in the making of masks. In that year Moore bought a French book on pre-Columbian sculpture which included many illustrations of masks. During 1928-9 Moore made eight masks, four cast in concrete and four carved in stone. In this stone mask the eyes, nostrils and mouth are holes which have been drilled right through the material. This device of drilling a hole points to future developments in Moore's work because the sculptor came to believe that 'A hole can have as much shape-meaning as a solid mass.'

August 2004