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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.

Tutsi Rwanda milk pot
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African art > African Jar > Pot Tutsi

Decorated with brass slats, this ancient container from East Africa was designed by a nomadic people. The latter was particularly decimated by the Islamic slave trade and by recurrent infighting. Population groups called "Bantous interlacustres", located between Lake Victoria and the Limpopo River, include the Ganda, Nyoro, Nkole, Soga, Toro, Hima, and the Tutsi of Rwanda and Burundi. Their cultures have similarities, as do their artistic production and their everyday objects. The Tutsi raise cattle. They also excel in the art of weaving and basket making. This elongated pot features polished and satin walls, and clearly visible abrasions and impacts of use. Medium brown glossy patina.


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Dowayo Fertility Dolls
African art > African Statues > Statues Namji

Trapped in multiple necklaces of glass paste beads giving them a ventru-like appearance, these coupled anthropomorphic figures whose shaggy heads emerge, as haggardly, from this colorful swaddling, have small limbs composed of loops in Beads. A cauri in amulets reinforces the fertility wish. An object of modest size, easily transportable, its supposedly active role does not abandon its aesthetic character.
Wooden base or plexiglass extra.
Ethnie of northern Cameroon composed 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 ...


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250.00

Lega introductory statuette
African art > African Statues > League figurines

French tribal art collection.
The African art of the Lega , Balega, or Warega , is distinguished by its introductory statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket intended for the highest rank of the Bwami de different communities. Small figure with rounded limbs, hypertophids, it has a straight bust punctuated by the prominence of the umbilical. The flat, oval face features dotted scarifications and coffee bean eyes. The hips and neck are trimmed with woven raffia. Grainy kaolin skate adjoining with dark satin areas.
This type of tribal art statuette Iginga ( Maginga plural), was owned by the high ranks of the Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, and governing social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the ...


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280.00

Polychrome Dogon Monkey Mask
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African art > African mask > Masdque Dogon

Contrasting polychrome motifs animate this copy of the Dogons' African mask featuring a zoomorphic figure associated with the monkey. Square cavities in large rectangular orbits are placed on either side of a straight nasal ridge. Dry and matte abraded skate, desication cracks. More than eighty types of Dogon masks are listed, the best known of which are the Kanaga, Sirigé, Satimbé, Walu. Most of them are used by circumcised society insiders Awa , during funeral ceremonies. The Awa refers to the masks, their costumes, and all the Dogons in the service of the masks. Some evoke animals, in reference to the rich cosmogony and mythology of African dogon art. The mask's life force, the U-002nyamaU,0022, is activated by various rituals to develop the object's full magical potential. Three ...

Fetish statue Kongo Nkisi
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African art > African Statues > Kongo Fetish

Ex-German tribal art collection.
Characteristic of the African art of the Kongo, this masculine effigy is camped in a decided attitude, in order to master the forces it wants to face. The elents bilongo which exacerbate its power, consist of nails whose bust is dotted, magical charges, one ventral in a cavity that seals a mirror, and the second in the head under the bone that is recorded in it. Multiple seeds of abrus mingle with a clay aggregate, their red color invigorating the dark hue of the piece. The patina of the face, smooth, oiled, with apparent veins, contrasts sharply with the rest of the room, mattified by ritual anointings. The pupils composed of horn and the beard in a circular tray, as well as the hairstyle, recall the style of the statuary Beembé and Yombé, other ...


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Relic statue Fang Byeri
African art > African Statues > Statue Fang

Fang tribal art.
Represented seated, this male figure was intended to be recorded by the posterior stalk on the basket housing the relics of the ancestors. Wearing an oblong crest that falls between the shoulder blades, this ancestor effigy with a long bust displays a concave face in which brass pupils are set. One of the feet has been restored. Eroded wood, matte, ochre bark powder residue. In the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were topped with a statue or a head that acted as custodian of the "byi" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were intended to divert evil influences to ...


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375.00

Masque Ntomo Bamana
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African art > African mask > Bambara Mask

Ex- french African art collection.
Remarkable for its decoration of cauris encrusted in clay material, this mask of imposing dimensions was intended for the initiation society of young boys from 5 to 10 years old. Despite the influence of Islam, these rites persist in the Niger Valley. The long rectangular nose marks the Bambara's predilection for this organ in their tribal statuary, as it evokes the sociability and cohesion of the clan, as opposed to the narrowness of the mouth associated with prudence and speech control. The crest consists of a stylized round-bump sculpture evoking a bird, surrounded by two straight horns.
Slight brown patina, good condition despite some damaged cauris.
We find the Bambara , Bamana , in central and southern Mali. This name means ...


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Crest Markha Mask
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African art > African mask > Crest Markha Mask

Ex-collection of Italian-African art

- The Markha are organized into structured and hierarchical mask societies as found in many other ethnic groups, and have an initiatory language, a means of communication in the hands of the initiates. also called Warka, inhabit the north of the Bambara territory and have therefore been influenced by the latter especially in the design of their masks.The Markha, as Bambara and Bozo, have the particularity of adorning their plates statuary Their puppets are also renowned, and in addition to the points of similarity between the art markha and bambara, they also have institutions, including that of N'tomo, bringing together the uncircumcised youth. base of the object rises a ringed neck then a long emaciated face plated with brass leaves ...


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Fertility statuette Ngbaka
African art > African Statues > Statue Ngbaka

The Ubangian crucible has produced many statuettes that share certain similarities. This primitive sculpture, on which the herminette strokes appear, was indicated to us as belonging to the Ngbaka . It is distinguished by a voluminous head in which the bulging forehead gives birth to a braided hairstyle pulled backwards. The look is just suggested by a linear recess between two circular samples marking the ears. Nostrils are dug under the large nasal volume dominating a thin horizontal mouth, conferring a determined appearance. Reduced arms, placed against the bust, emphasize the volume of the abdomen. This ancient statuette could be associated with fertility and fertility. The dark brown patina with a satin feel, lustrous by oil anointings, is locally abraded. Desication cracks.


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480.00

Kasai Kuba Shoowa Velvet
African art > African Textile > Kuba fabric

The African art and refinement of the Weaving KubaProducts in Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real first art paintings, consist of a raffia textile base on which threads are cut to the brim, forming a velvet effect accentuated by contrasts of tone. 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 technique of velvet weaving to the Kuba country in the 17th century. He had previously introduced the ...


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120.00

Ejagham Crest Mask
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African art > African mask > Ekoi Crest

A circular base in braided basketry rises a head evoking the ideal of feminine beauty in the Ejaghams. It was carved from a wood that was then sheathed with animal skin, mostly antelope. This extravagant hairstyle consisting of a volute growth between two leather-trimmed horns, would represent the hair extensions of the girls at the end of their period of initiation. The hollowed-out mouth has metallic teeth. Stretched eyelids open onto bleached globes.
The dancer's costume consisted of a large lattice of raffia ropes, and more recently, cotton fabric. The masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that the leather would soften and adopt a satisfying luster. Leopard societies, such as the male society Kpe, Ngbe among the Aro, used this crest model for ...


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Kongo Nkisi figure
African art > African Statues > Kongo figure

African art Kongo.
The bilongo elements conferring additional powers to this pair of nkisi statuettes are hidden in a reliquary that closes a cauri on the abdomen and in the back of their seat, sealed by a mirror. Additions of metal, in the form of fine tips, participate in this action defensive or offensive. The caps consist of animal skin on which remains a coat and a red cotton headband. The teeth are traditionally filed down and the trance glance, able to discern the hidden things, is expressed by pupils visible through splinters of glass. Satin patina encrusted with matte particles. The magical "bilongo" ingredients were frequently hidden in the receptacle on the abdomen of the figure which was otherwise sealed by a mirror. The Nganga wizards, both healers, were in charge of ...


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200.00

Lwalwa Nkaaki Mask
African art > African mask > Lwalu Mask

African masks Lwalwa, Lwalu.
It is near the Kasai River that the Lwalwa live, between Angola and Zaire. Historically having a matrilineal society, the Lwalwa, after being influenced luba and songye, adopted a patrilineal system within their rudimentary political and social organization. The male mask nkaki, nkaaki, carved from wood mulela, is one of four types of masks produced by the privileged caste formed by their sculptors. These craftsmen, according to their merits, can become conductors and organize dances, including the balango, during which acrobatics are performed by young dancers. These masks are then displayed, or worn during initiation ceremonies, or to soothe the spirits after an unsuccessful hunt.
A conical hairstyle painted with geometric patterns overcomes a ...


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380.00

Ijo Otojo Crest Mask
African art > African mask > Masque Ijo

This African zoomorphic crest mask, evoking a sawfish, was carved to honor Bini Oru, spirit of water, during masquerades owu. It was fixed horizontally on the top of the skull. A similar removable figure, in miniature, was placed on his back.
Patine mate, dry, use of polychromy.
Ijo masks are creatures born of the imagination that are usually related to aquatic life. Indeed, the Ijo-Kalabari living mainly from fishing and their small villages located in swampy areas, their cosmogony naturally centered around this environment.
Their masks and other artistic productions are intended to honor aquatic spirits, oro, whom they worship and to whom sacrifices were intended. Fishermen had to be careful not to offend these spirits or they could kill their wrath by means of the ...


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480.00

African Sword Currency Chamba
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Chamba Weapon

Two spirals on either side of a tip form the handle of this weapon. The blade that continues at the tip bears fine patterns in parallel and broken lines. Oxidized granular patina. This piece is thought to be of Chamba origin in Nigeria.
Installed since the 17th century on the south bank of the Benue river in Nigeria, the Chamba have resisted attempts to conquer the Fulani, nomads who settled in large numbers in northern Nigeria. They are known for their famous buffalo mask with its two flat jaws extending the head. The less frequent statuary is divided into protective figures (tauwa, sing. tau) which are kept in a box to the left of the entrance of the concession, and in statues of ancestors, kona. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. ...

Ndaaka mask in turtle shell
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African art > African mask > Ndaaka Mask

This relatively flat mask was made in a certain type of turtle shell by the Ndaaka, a tribe of farmers living in contact with groups of pygmy hunters Mbuti within the ituri forest, north of umaniema . The latter's artistic productions have thus greatly influenced the ethnic groups in the region. On this mask, if the artist did not take advantage of the natural relief of the shell, volumes could be created at the cheeks, geometric scarifications enhancing their bulge. Frontal wrinkles are in pyrogravure, other lines highlight the facial features, a thin horizontal groove also divides the face through the nose. The natural contours of the lower part of the shell, almost jagged under the chin, evoke a small beard. Like many peoples, the Ndaaka have sought to appropriate the qualities of ...

Olumèye Yoruba Offering Cup
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African art > African Statues > Olumèye Yoruba Offering Cup

Ex-collection of African African art, bearers of cut in the traditional African art of Nigeria The priestess of Orunmila, wearing a high crest, the cheeks marked scarification in three vertical claws "kpele" ", is on its knees and presents a cup supported by caryatidic figures.

The lid is adorned with two colorful hornbills facing each other.The two birds symbolize the occult universe, the divination. Crusted polychrome patina. Xylophagous attacks stopped. Yoruba society is very organized and has several associations whose roles vary. While the egbe male society reinforces social norms, the aro federates farmers. The freeze has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables meet in a society called esusu. Offering cups, some of which were used to store kola nuts or other ...

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Figure of rider Baoulé
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African art > African Rider > Statue Baule

Naturalism of African art Baoulé
This male effigy of a naked rider would represent a baoulé leader in an idealized way, the latter being the only ones to own horses. The ovoid face with regular features is aneasted with a braided beard, the ancients of which took great care thanks to anointings of shea butter. The body has many scarifications. This sculpture, embodying a asye usu, spirit of nature, or temporal residence of a "Blolo bian" épouss of the afterlife, was probably part of the objects belonging to the soothsayer komien . During the divination sessions, these objects were wrapped in a white cloth in order to act as intermediaries between the temporal world and spirits. The representations of celestial spouses, on the other hand, were kept individually within the homes. ...


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Male effigy Nyamézi, Nyamwezi
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African art > African Statues > Statue Nyamézi

Ex- african art collection form Luxemburg.
This human figure of long morphology offers a proportionally reduced head, in which hollowed-out eyes were generally encrusted with white beads. The size of the ears contrasts with a discreet appearance where the jaw forms a slight bulge. This type of statues, among the wide variety of tribal production of this region, participated in the worship of ancestors, and some played a role in traditional Seeker activities. Smooth and sainy patina revealing the veining of the wood, range of hot browns. Lacks, cracks.
The nyamwézi are made up of tribes of various origins that make up the most guarded group in central Tanzania, yet share the same cultural traits. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their ...

Kono Bambara Mask
African art > African mask > Masque Bamana

Ex-african art french collection.
Used in the context of the cult of Kono , an ancient initiation society that has spread to Mali and western Burkina Faso, this African mask of Mali embodies the duality of the individual, through a representation endowed with zoomorphic attributes. The function of this object is to try to effectively direct the strength of the fawns "waraw", to attract their protection to promote female fertility and the fertility of the land, to guard against witches and to exercise justice. Characterized by two high parallel ears, with a crenellated edge, hollowed out round eyes and a long open-top jaw, this mask is smeared with coloured pigments and drippings following ritual libations. It is equipped with a pouch fitted with a padlock, in which magic materials ...


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380.00

Baoulé Asie Usu Statue
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Baoulé Asie Usu Statue

Akan cults in African art

This Waka-Sona" "," "to be of wood in baoulé" ", seizes his beard that the anointings of oil stiffened. The high summit crest that composes his hairstyle meets in a bun in the neck. Many checkered scarifications run through the anatomy of the effigy. One of his hands, disproportionately, is placed in the umbilical region. This gesture of life evokes the link with the offspring, the protection of the ancestor. Light wood, irregular satin surface. Two types of Waka- Sona statues are produced by the Baoulé in the ritual setting: those that evoke an assie oussou, be of the earth, and which are part of a set of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the komian diviners, the latter being selected by asye usu spirits to communicate the revelations ...


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