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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.

Namji Fertility Doll, Dowayo
African art > African Dolls > Fertility doll

This anicenne effigy with arched limbs surrounded by cotton thread is sheathed in leather. The head, like the feet and hands, is formed in a simple metallic volute. On its abdomen, the magical virtues of a talisman in the form of a metal cabochon adorn a belt. Decorative elements, arranged in small successive metal balls, make up a dressing of the most beautiful effect. An ethnic group in northern Cameroon made up of animist mountaineers, the Dowayo , " Namji ", " Namchi ", use anthropomorphic figures, dolls, as part of fertility rituals. The women carried with them these dolls donated by their husbands in the hope of becoming mothers. The use of dolls by young African women is not done exclusively within the initiation context. When menstruation occurs, the girl is considered a ...


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590.00

Sepik Figurative Suspension Hook
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Sepik

The Melanesia , in the Pacific Ocean, encompasses 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. The masks produced by these groups represent ancestral spirits in which they are incarnated. Funeral rituals honor spirits in order to reach their ultimate destination. This anthropomorphic sculpture from the Sepik River region, dubbed the Nile of New Guinea features a figure whose legs end in arrowheads. It is a figurative hook to hang food.
Natural pigments, ...

Punu Okuyi Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Punu Mask

African art Punu.
This African mask has a look made of half-closed almond eyelids, the protruding well-drawn mouth is closed, on the forehead is a pattern associated with traditional tribal scarifications in nine scales; a double hull made up of braids caps the head. These hairstyles in various forms illustrate women's fashion during the 19th century in Gabon. A collar also surrounds the entire face. A white patina, abraded, covers the face in contrast to the red brown dyed by the keloids, ears and lips.
White, the colour of mourning, establishes a link with the world of spirits and ancestors to whom protective and beneficial virtues were attributed. The counterpart of okuyi masks are the black patina ikwara masks, the color of witchcraft, referring to the occult and evil ...


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Benin rider figure Bini Edo
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African art > African Statues > Benin Rider

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 brass 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. The craftsmen of Benin also produced figures of horseriders, representing according to interpretations either a benign king or a Yoruba emissary of the oyo cavalry. It could also be Oranmiyan, which ...

Chief Figure Chokwe
African art > African Statues > Statue Chokwe

This tribal sculpture, symbol of power, glorifies the hunting qualities of the founding hero of the ethnic group, Chibinda Ilunga. At his feet, a miniature figure, auxiliary spirit hamba or even descending. This little character also evokes trade and wealth, the merchants moving at the time on the back of beef. The chef, with his palms and feet oversized, has an impressive nobility headdress. A smooth, brown and shiny patina, once due to the repeated application of castor oil and dyes vegetable decoctions, covers the entire body of Chokwe African art, revealing in places dull areas. Desication cracks.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity ...


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580.00

Pende figurines
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statuette Pendé

This figure of African art depicts a dancer from the masquerade Pende Minganji du Zaire, dressed in his full costume in raffia's harvest. Leon de Sousberghe identified two types of masks, the minganji associated with male society and mbuya masks related to the village, with some exceptions. The puppet, like the dancer, has a flexible and articulated body, fixed on a small cracked promontory.
Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Oriental have settled on the banks of the Kasai river downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of the neighbouring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu, were imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the masks Mbuya , realistic, produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody ...


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Kota reliquary statue
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

In place of the metal-plated figure, which is a traditonal watch on the basket in which the relics of the deceased were stored, this polychrome wooden statue acts as both a reliquary and a reliquary keeper. Indeed, a door, on the back of the figure, closes a dorsal cavity made for this purpose. The head presents the specifics of the Mbulu-Ngulu figures of the Kota Ndasa of Gabon and Congo, a flat headdress and a protruding forehead, enhanced here by decorative metallic lozenges. The lower base evokes both legs and the prestige stool kwanga, on four feet, often used during initiations. Transport straps, attached to the arms and neck of the sculpture, are formed of thick strips of braided raffia.
"Medium" between the living and the dead, watching over their descendants, these ...


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

Ex-collection French African art.
Plane and circular, this African mask features a décor of symbolic geometric patterns arranged in successive circular friezes, and features 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. Very slight abrasions. 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. It is 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 scars of collective rites. It is therefore during various celebrations that the mask will personify a spirit of ...


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Knife/Mongo/Konda
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Konda Sword

This blade is extended with a wooden pommel surrounded by a leather ribbon and then dyed black. The end of the blade flares. Oxidized metal, very beautiful patina of use.
The Mongo group living in northwestern Congo, is known for its costumes, weapons, and metal jewelry, not for its almost non-existent statuary. The Konda who used this type of short swords form one of the tribes of the group.
In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also come from parade objects or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued against iron bars ...


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Baule monkey helmet mask
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African art > African mask > Baoulé Mask

This sacred African mask, of conjuring, comes from one of the many Baoulé cults that would include seven masks.  It is the powerful embodiment of a force being U-002amwin".  This mask could be related to harvest ceremonies.  Animal masks always accompanied the portrait masks.
This mask landed at the top of the head, raffia fibres attached to the perforations of the contours concealing the dancer's face. Very old mask, eroded base.
According to the mythology Baoulé , a royal ancestor had to sacrifice his son to cross a river. This event is the origin of the name of the Baoulé , Bauli ,"The son died". They make up the majority of Côte d'Ivoire's population. Artists of African art have produced very elegant and diverse works, including many masks.  There are also so-called ...


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Lobi Funeral Bed
African art > African Chair > African bench

Very beautiful element of African furniture, this old bed or bench for funeral rituals presents an exceptional glossy honey patina. A bird's head, a beak ajar, adorns the end with a neck rest. Four massive feet support the plateau of the layer to which erosion has conferred an appearance of sinuousness.
The populations of the same cultural region, grouped under the name " lobi ", make up one-fifth of the inhabitants of Burkina Faso. Few in Ghana, they have also settled in northern Côte d'Ivoire. It was at the end of the 18th century that the Lobi, from North Ghana, settled among the indigenous Thuna and Puguli, the Dagara, the Dian, the Gan and the Birifor. The Lobi believe in a creator God named Thangba Thu , to whom they address through the worship of many intermediate spirits, ...


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480.00

Figure of Portuguese soldier Benin
African art > African Statues > Benin Statue

This bronze sculpture depicts a Portuguese soldier armed with a rifle, a dagger at the hip, dressed in his traditional military garb. The Portuguese arrived in Benin in the 15th century, endowed with a military arsenal that aroused great interest among kings. The power of firearms was then naturally associated with the occult defense against invisible enemies. In the 16th century, Europeans played a major role at the Oba court: they imported corals and glass beads, shackles also highly coveted by the king and his courtiers. At the same time, their soldiers participated in Benin's military campaigns, notably against the kingdom of Idah. The tremendous increase in imports of metal in the form of shackles, used as bargaining chips, provided bronze craftsmen with enormous quantities of raw ...


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450.00

Etoffe Ncak nsueha Bushoong
African art > African Textile > Pagne Kuba

Ex-collection French tribal art.
Prestigious fabrics among the objects of African art KubaProduce in Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, mainly, subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real first art paintings, consist of a textile base in raffia. The geometric patterns formed represent the bodily scarifications of the ethnic group or the decorations of the sculptures. These refined fabrics were intended to be used at the royal court, as a seat or cover, to enhance its prestige. They in many cases took value of money, or also followed their owners into the grave by covering the body of the deceased. It was King Shamba Bolongongo who introduced the weaving technique to the Kuba country in the 17th century. He had previously introduced the Kuba to the art of forging. It was the men who ...


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280.00

Deangle Dan Dance Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Masque Dan

Ex-Belgian African art collection. These African masks of a very pure aesthetic whose concave face projects the features, are always borrowed from a great serenity. This is one of the characteristics of Dan masks.Arched palpebral slits allow the dancer's vision. Flesh yen-green diamond lips protrude. A black patina, particularly satin, has areas thinned by use, honey color. Rhythms punctuated by regular perforations to fix the raffia adornment in front concealed the wearer. The so-called Mask, called Deanglé, defines an ideal of beauty and benevolence because it is carved in honour of the village's young girls or renowned men.


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Chokwe ancestor statue
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Chokwe

Singularity of the works of African art Chokwe
This statue of tribal art glorifies a chef wearing a European hat and sitting on a prestigious stool reserved for notables. He surrounds a tobacco pot with his large, oversized hands. Tobacco use was widespread among the Chokwe, and smoke was an integral part of offerings to spirits ajimu The repatry application of castor oil and dyes ections endowed the sculpture with a brown patina with icy reflections and stiffened the raffia belt that adorns his hips. (B. Wastiau) Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwes never fully embraced these new social and political ...


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Royal Statue Oni Ife
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African art > African bronze > Royal Statue Oni Ife

Ex private English collection of African art.

This is a court dwarf. This type of statues was reserved for the highest castes in society. The character with realistic features is adorned with a multitude of details and elements.
On the head, a headdress on which stands a characteristic decorative stem that is also found on the heads oni, royal attributes. Around the neck, an adornment and a necklace of pearls.
At the waist, the character wears a loincloth above which one can see the prominent abdomen.
In one hand, one scepter, in the other a horn.

Ifè bronze pieces are very well known in African art. These were generally made up of terracotta and more rarely bronze. The artistic current of which these pieces are part is actually named after the ...


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Lega Ritual Harp
African art > Djembe TamTam > Lega Guitar

The African art of Lega, Balega, or Warega , is distinguished by its statuettes and initiation masks, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest bwami officers of different communities. The Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, governing social life, was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi. Music played a major role in rituals, such as this anthropomorphic musical instrument whose sounding board consisting of a drum stretched from a skin is located at the level of the character's abdomen. Faces with smiling faces, whose heart-whitening orbits, reminiscent of lega masks, are superimposed. The ropes were replaced by the previous owner. Desication cracks.
Following their exodus from Uganda in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the ...


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480.00

Reliquary figure Kota Mbulu Ngulu
objet vendu
African art > African Reliquary > Statue Kota

With large, flat side shells extended with two pendeloques, this singular concave face overhanging an ovoid forehead is plated with gold copper sheets. A fine cling makes the whole thing adhere to the wooden soul. The ensemble is highlighted with carefully engraved geometric and punctiform motifs, composing friezes embellishing the sculpture. The base is eroded. The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with ...

Statue of Nkondi Nkisi Congo
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Kongo Fetish

Tribal fetishes in the Kongo kingdom have a magical charge usually housed on the abdomen behind a cavity-blocking mirror. Abrus seeds add a note of colour here. This copy with a chef's headdress is bristling with intertwined nails of various ropes. Eyes with dark pupils are encrusted with glass in reference to extra lucid abilities. A textile pudding also traps its neck. Blackish colours attest to resinous libations.
Desication cracks.
The nganga , sorcerers but also healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through this type of figures, most often consecrated anthropomorphic tribal sculptures, named nkisi .
With the Kongo, the nganga took on the rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The ...

Leopard Benin in bronze
objet vendu
African art > African bronze > New product

The palatial tribal art of Benin.Before the destruction of the palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897, the divine character of the kings, the Oba, was illustrated by multiple works celebrating their power. War scenes were reproduced on narrative plates, in bronze, and affixed to the walls. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chefs, heavy bracelets, hairs and recades were produced in quantity in many workshops of smelters according to the technique of cast iron with lost wax. The killing of the king of animals associated with the legends, the leopard, was the privilege of the chief, the Oba. The feline could then serve as an offering for the worship of the chief's head. Sometimes tamed by various royal guilds, he accompanied the chief on his travels. The Oba, named " ...


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Lipiko African Mask - Makonde - Tanzania
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African art > African mask > Masque Makonde

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
The shapes and proportions of this African cephalomorphic Makonde mask, embodying an ancestral spirit, reflect a desire for realism. The ancestors would return masked to mark their satisfaction following the initiation. Some of these masks have wax tattoos or incised in the wood in connection with traditional scarifications. The thick lips protruding incised teeth remain a singularity unique to Makonde statuary. Garnet red coat, lines with burgundy brown pigments. From the wicker fills the contours of the base of the mask, also marked with a crack. Glossy surface. 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 ...





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