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African art items:


The achievements of African tribal art fascinated many European artists and collectors in the 20th century. From André Breton to Picasso, all were seized with a buying fever that quickly spread in the middle. If these sculptures are more of an artistic dimension for Westerners, it is nevertheless through their ritual sacralisation that they reveal themselves for the African peoples. Their ceremonial role confers on them a unique power that distinguishes them from other forms of ethnic art. These works were acquired (sold or offered by natives) throughout the twentieth century by ethnologists on mission or colonial cooperatives to be exhibited in museums, or integrated into prestigious private collections. This is the story of these pieces that we propose to discover through our gallery and our website.

Luba neck support
African art > Head rest > Luba neck support

The Luba are renowned for their statuary and in particular their neck-rests and stools made up of a cariatid figure. The symbolic figures adorning this neck support to preserve the complex headdress of its owner refer to the luba royalty, to its feminine and masculine part. But the neck supports were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. The characters leaning on their hands, with a sophisticated hairstyle, and embodying spirits, are depicted pressing with their feet the knee of the one facing them. This attitude has symbolic value. Smooth patina dark brown mahogany. The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu River, hence the name ...


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240.00

Statuette Sginga Sakimatwematwe League
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > League figurines

Two janiform sets are superimposed around a central trunk on this tribal sculpture Sakimatwematwe (Multi-heads) belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, among the many others used during the initiations. The base is pierced with attachment holes.
Two-tone satin patina, kaolin.
The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were displayed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these metaphors, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected, had to submit to expensive ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu , at great expense to the families. Each of these ...

Etoffe Pongo from Ituri
African art > African Textile > Etoffe Pongo

Ex-collection Swiss African art.
Produced by pygmies from the Ituri forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, these fabrics woven from ficus bark fibres were painted by women. Men cut wood and hammered bark, and women generally used a gardenia decoction mixed with charcoal ash to draw patterns similar to tattoos worn by tribal members. On this copy, grids of different formats were drawn on the clear background, a traitconnector each of them, sometimes forming a loop at its end. The rhythm and space created between the various signs would also have a link with the polyphonic songs through which the pygmies of Ituri address God. The Mangbetu, in contact with the Asua pygmies, produced a similar type of cloth (named tapa in Oceania) decorated with more complex symbols called murumba ...


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150.00

Ambete reliquary cover
African art > African Statues > Statue Ambete

Ex-collection German tribal art.
Statues of ancestors in the African art of Mbede, Mbete, or AmbeteThe cult of ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by these statues whose dorsal cavity frequently plays the role of reliquary. This statue that was placed above the reliquary does not have a cavity for this purpose. The face has a characteristic appearance, offering narrow, half-closed eyelids, a triangular nose, a mouth revealing teeth. The hairstyle is organized in several crests. Attached to the tubular bust, the raised arms are folded at a right angle. Kaolin patina and use of red ochre hues.
The Mbete form a people of Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, neighboring obamba, whose history has been marked by a long-running conflict against the Teke. They do not have ...


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390.00

Masque facial Yohoure Lomane
African art > African mask > Yaure Mask

A group of three bird heads stands on long necks at the top of this African mask of the I. Finely worked hair, divided into three, is an indicator of wealth. The subtle shape of the face, the brilliant lacquered patina, reveal the talent of the sculptors of African tribal art of Côte d'Ivoire. This copy named Anoman , Lomane , (baoulé bird) is part of the fourth of the seven masks I who originally danced around the deceased and leaned to touch him for a purifying purpose. It also appears at present during rejoicing. The Yaouré are a subgroup of the Akan people present in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. Geographically close to the Baoulé and the Gouros, one can feel in the art yaouré the influence of these ethnic groups through the attention to detail and aesthetics. The african art masks ...


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180.00

Masquette Songye/ Luba Kifwebe
African art > African mask > Songye Mask

This reduced copy of one of the songye mask versions, the kikashi, has eyes stretched to the temples and a very low naso-frontal crest. The quadrangle mouth has an orifice. Large parallel streaks are dug on the surface of the wood, symbolizing the plumage and the link with death. The female masks were supposed to discern the occult, evolveated at night, and mobilized beneficial forces. Abrasions of the kaolin patina.
Three variants of this mask Kifwebe (pl. Bifwebe) or "Chasing the mort" (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to originate from the adjacent area between the northern Luba and the ...


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150.00

Masque ventral Makonde Ndimu
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Masque Makonde

The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde venerate an ancestor, which explains the abundance of a naturalistic female statuary. In addition to the face masks worn during mapikodances and ngoma ceremonies which educate young people about the demands of marriage and family life, the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the bust such as this copy from the Mercier collection.
Young Makonde boys and girls must undergo a prison war of about six months, during which they are taught songs, dances and practical activities. The rules of adult life, sex life and the obligations of marriage are discussed. This initiation ended with festive ceremonies featuring male dancers midimu ...

Lobi Statue
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Lobi Statue

This statue illustrates the typical aesthetic canons of the Lobi, simple features for a body and quite imposing limbs, the piece has a slender and narrow look, the elements of the face as well as the more global shapes are simplified but nevertheless retain an aspect and realistic proportions The patina is dark and slightly crusty after libations. Lobi communities are organized around nature spirits. When honored, these spirits show their benevolence in the form of abundant rains, good health, numerous births. Ignored, they remove it and cause devastating epidemics, drought and suffering. These figurines are placed on the tombs, in a dark corner of the owners' house, with many other sculptures embodying other spirits because it takes a large number to face the many threats of the rural ...


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Yiteke Yaka Statuette
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Yiteke Yaka Statue

Statuette of African Yaka art with exaggerated sensory organs, supporting a bulging abdomen whose umbilicus is dug in order to receive a magical charge.

These lineage charms providing protection against enemies, were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the sponsor of the object Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of formidable warriors, the Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs who had the right to life and death over their subjects. the opportunity today for the Yaka to invoke ancestors and to use rituals with charms. The youth initiation society is the n-khanda found in oriental Kongo (Chokwe, Luba, etc ...), and who uses various charms and masks in order to ensure a vigorous lineage.The artistic productions of the ethnic group were ...


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Mossi Bwa Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Mossi Mask

Ex-collection French African art.
Plane and circular, this African mask is engraved with losangic motifs arranged in successive circular friezes. It is painted with a matte polychromy, burgundy red, white kaolin and dark grey. The mouth in which teeth are represented is hollowed out to allow the dancer's vision. It would symbolize a totem bird of different Mossi clans. The African art sculptures of bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently take up and combine stylized elements borrowed from humans, animals or insects.
These are the spirits of nature that are supposed to determine the well-being and prosperity of an individual, and adversity will be seen as the result of neglect of collective rites. It is therefore during various celebrations that the ...


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Statuette Lwena
African art > African Statues > Statuette Lwena

Of Lunda origin, the Lwena emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, repelled by the Chokwe. When some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for their sculptures depicting figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks related to the initiation rites of the mukanda . Their sculpture was largely influenced by that of the Chokwe.This female figure is associated with the mythical female ancestor and intervenes on human fertility and the fertility of the land. His face forms a miniature replica of the powerful mask mukishi wa pwo nyi cijingo ca tangwa wearing the kambu ja tota. ("Chokwe and Their Bantu Neighbours" Rodrigues de Areia.) b-patine glossy chocolate.


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240.00

Baga Fertility Statue
African art > African Statues > Statue Baga

French African art collection.
Mixed with the Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in areas of swamps flooded six months a year. These Baga groups, based on the coast and living from rice farming, are made up of seven subgroups, including Baga Kalum, Bulongic, Baga sitem, Baga Mandori, etc. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, Naku, which they do not represent, and which is accompanied by a male spirit whose name is Somtup. Apart from the famous Nimba mask, they have created a powerful mask, a hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, in order to communicate with the spirits of the forest. After the abandonment of rites following Islamization, colonization, or conversions to Christianity, the Baga now seek to revive their traditions ...


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340.00

Statue Asmat, Irian Jaya
African art > African Statues > Statue Asmat

Ex-collection art French Papua.
Melanesia, in the Pacific Ocean, encompasses the Papua (Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and the Solomon Islands. The population is the result of successive migrations resulting in racial heterogeneity resulting in many languages and great artistic diversity. Most of these communities were organized into male societies with ceremonial boxes in which statues, masks and ritual objects were stored. A former Dutch colony, Papua is an Indonesian province located west of New Guinea. The Asmat settled in the south of this region, among the Mimika and Marind-Anim.Former head cutters, cruel warriors, the Asmat adorned the heads of their enemies with feathers, colored seeds, and making necklaces for their wives. Their male ...


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485.00

Yoruba Zoomorphic Offering Cup
objet vendu
African art > African Jar > Yoruba Cup

Votive offering cups for the god of divination Orunmila usually contained kola nuts or other special presents. It comes in the form of a gallinace, a sacrificial victim of use for the gods, also symbolizing the occult universe, divination. The Yoruba also visualize the world in the form of a gourd whose upper, masculine part would form the sky, and the lower part, feminine, the earth. The matte polychromy that emphasizes its geometric patterns is divided between browns, burgundy and beige kaolin. The Yoruba society is very organized and has several associations whose roles vary. While men's society egbe reinforces social norms, the aro unites farmers. The gelede has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables come together in a society called esusu. Offering cups, some of which were ...

Teite of Queen Benin Uhumnwun elao
objet vendu
African art > African bronze > Bronze Benin

The African art of Benin is described as a court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as Oba. The tradition of bronze classroom objects from the Benin Kingdom dates back to the 14th century. The many bronze alloy heads and statues created by the artists of Benin were reserved for the exclusive use of the inhabitants of the royal palace and, more often than not, placed on altars consecrated by each new Oba. These rectangular altars were surmounted by heads, statues, carved ivory tusks, bells and sticks. They were used to commemorate an oba and to get in touch with his spirit. This late sculpture, which was made on the death of the Queen, depicts a queen mother of Benin named the Iyoba , whose neck is surrounded by multiple necklaces of coral beads. Her high curved ...

Relic statue Mbete, Ambete
African art > African Statues > Statue Ambete

Statues of ancestors in the African art of Mbede, Mbete, or AmbeteThe cult of ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by carved figures frequently playing the role of reliquary. This statue has a dorsal cavity blocked by a shutter. A resin remains in the trunk. The flat side offers the characteristic details: narrow, semi-closed eyelids depicted by cauris, sheltered under slanted eyebrows, a triangular nose extending from the forehead, a narrow hollowed-out mouth. The hairstyle is arranged in braids gathered in shells. The arms on the chest are folded at a right angle. Semi-flexed muscular legs, carried by large feet, evoke a ritual dance. Grainy kaolin patina, chipped, and use of burgundy brown hues.
The Mbete form a people of Gabon, on the border of Middle Congo, neighbouring ...


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390.00

Luba neck support
objet vendu
African art > Head rest > Luba neck support

The Luba are renowned for their statuary and in particular their neck-rests and stools made up of a cariatid figure. In this case it is a couple side by side. The neck supports were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. The figures of spouses supporting the stage, with a sophisticated hairstyle, and embodying spirits, are depicted standing. Black brown patina barely satin. Base split frontally.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu River, hence the name (Baluba, which means \


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Dan Fetish
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African art > African Statues > Dan Fetish

This naturalistic male figure, reduced, presents a stocky body on which the musculature is drawn. The character is carried by large digitized feet in the extension of the extended arms. The oblong face, projecting forward, is endowed with a deep-seated look on which remain tiny residues of kaolin. The top of the head is encrusted with a grainy mass trapping a cauri, probably as a result of ritual libations. Magic-targeted nails were inserted on either side of the bust. Patterns of curds are drawn on the chest of the subject.
Gifts of women, food, festive ceremonies and honorable status once rewarded sculptors to whom this talent was bestowed during a dream. The latter was the means of communication of Du , an invisible spiritual power, with men. The rare statuary played a ...


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Statuette Songye Nkisi, Nkishi
objet vendu
African art > African fetish > New product

Ex-French African art collection, estimated in the auction room at 400 euros.
The Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) is a protective fetish of the Songye, tribal sculpture with a protective vocation. A raphia cloth forms a thick loincloth. A horn, in which magical elements ( bajimba) were introduced, rises from its skull. Other cavities on the statues could also hold apotropaic ingredients. The digitized hands support a protruding abdomen, witnessing the lineage. Satin patina. Base on request not included. These home protection fetishes are among the most prized in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and humans in the African culture. Large copies are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the ...

Baoulé Mask, Yaouré
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

An African mask of entertainment that can be seen by women, this heavy piece of African art has a dark patina. The headdress is made up of four elegant braided shells. The face is delicately highlighted with traditional scarifications called "ngole". These portrait masks of the Baoulé, ndoma , which are part of one of the oldest Baoulé artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the peculiarity of manifesting itself at the end of the ceremonies of entertainment dances. The latter are named, depending on the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc. Each of these masks are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications, etc. Also called Gbagba , they personify graceful young girls or men whose valour or integrity qualities are ...


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Statue Baule
African art > African Statues > Statue Baoulé

This figure "Waka -Sona", "être of wood in baoulé", re-encloses bright red residual inlays alternating with a blackish patina mixed with an inked powder. The piece was carved from exceptionally dense wood. Both hands of perosnnage rest on the swollen abdomen. This gesture of life refers to parentage. Two types of Waka-Sona statues are produced by the baoulé in the ritual setting: those that evoke an assiè oussou, being of the earth, and which are part of a set of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the Komian soothsayers, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. The second type of statues are the spouses of the afterlife, male, blolo bian or feminine, the bia blolo . Some 60 ethnic groups populate Côte ...


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390.00





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