She hates Pottery Barn?
I know, she says it’s all mass-produced, nothing is authentic,
and everyone winds up having the same stuff.
“THE GALLOPING MAJOR”
3 July 1965
In 1965, John Drake was in an African nation, undercover as a Major Sullivan during the lead-up to the election for prime minister. He stayed with a Mrs. Manningham in her home where she had a lot of African art hanging on the wall, including that mask on the wall to Drake’s right.
“PARALLEL LINES SOMETIMES MEET”
1 January 1966
Six months later, Drake was on assignment in Haiti, trying to find a missing British couple who were nuclear scientists. At the hotel where he was staying, that same mask could be seen outside the suite of his Soviet counterpart, Major Nicola Tarasova.
The manufacturer of that mask shipped them all over the world, perhaps even to Pottery Barn, which does have a televersion thanks to an episode of ‘Friends’. (The show practically kissed the ass of that company for the product placement.)
Hotels are always looking for faux objets d’art to display in the rooms and hallways and the lobby. That mask would certainly have fit the bill if they were trying for the ambience of voodoo.
I bet if Mrs. Manningham could tear herself away from her Tanqueray straight no chaser long enough, she could probably take that mask off the wall and look on the backside – where she would find a “Made In China” stamp.
* The Manninghams were the main characters in the play "Angel Street", later made as the movie "Gaslight".