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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.

Masque facial Lomane Yahouré, Yaoure
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African art > African mask > Yohoure Mask

Ex-French African art collection.
A group of four 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 delicate shape of the face, the smooth and sainy 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 up 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 ...

Bozo Mask
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African art > Puppets > Bozo mask

Happy polychrome of African art sculpted by Bozo fishermen.
Articulated fins, held by rubber strips, adorn the flanks of this long, bright yellow lacquered fish enhanced with red and black. Discreet erosions on the protrusions. The Bozo, mostly fishermen and farmers, live in the northern part of the Bambara country in the niger's inner delta and remain semi-nomadic today, moving their homes as seasonal floods occur. Mande-speaking people, they speak sorogama. Within their group, we can distinguish the Sorko or Sorogo, the Hain, and the Tie.Besides their remarkable masks, the Bozo and Bambara are renowned for their puppets of varied size and frequently articulated, exhibited during the puppet theatre Sogow bo which organizes itself on the initiative of young people from the villages, ...


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Couple of statuettes Chamba / Wurkun
African art > African Statues > Statues Shamba

Ex-French African art collection .
These sculptures of indefinite genre have a particular morphology composed of rounded volumes for the shoulders responding to that of the lower limbs, reduced. The long tubular bust, the base of which is surrounded by a pearl necklace, shows an umbilical growth. Parallel engravings, bleached, refer to the scarifications of the ethnic group. They are spread on the feet in order to indicate the toes. The detail of the fascinating faces is characteristic of regional statuary, with circular, locally crenellated ear pavilions that evoke the traditional, male and female use of inserting a disc into the ears. Under the round eyes, just drawn in the wood, parallel lips offer like a smile. A goatee appears to be drawn at the chin. Speckled patina, residual ...

Fertility figure Yoruba
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African art > African Statues > Statue Yoruba

This sculpture of African tribal art represents by its attitude an image of fertility. Facilitating communication with the sacred, it reminds the deity of his duties to men. Through the child she carries behind her back she symbolizes the protection of her people and fertility. Wearing a high crest, she also sports the three deep keloids of the Yoruba nobles on each cheek. The globular eyes, fleshy lips, are also distinctive markers of the tribal statuary Yoruba.
A lack is noted on the face, a shiny brown patina covers the wood whose cracks are due to desication.
The Yoruba traded slaves with the Europeans and especially the Portuguese before being completely subjugated to the English following a long period of infighting between the various kings or oba in place. The main ...


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Ngil Fang Mask
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African art > African mask > Fang Mask

Ex-collection French African art.
Enigmatic African masks of Fang. Fangmasks are usually characterized by a face consisting of high orbital cavities on either side of a long straight nose separating two thin eye incisions. The lips form a pout. This type of mask quickly fascinated early collectors of primitive art. Lack set in contours.
Soft wood, abraded surface, velvety dry patina.
The appearance of these kaolin-coated masks (the white color evokes the power of ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause dread. This type of mask was used by the male society ngil which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. The ngil was a purifying fire rite symbolized by the gorilla. The wearers of these masks, ...


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Royal statue Benin Bini Edo
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African art > African Statues > Royal statue Benin Bini Edo

The work of bronze by the technique of wax lost in African art.

The female character stands with her legs straight, her arms wide apart and bent, hands to the sky.
The finely detailed adornment around the neck extends into two cords that intersect on the chest and back.
Ornaments are also present around the waist, neck, wrists and ankles. The raised base is decorated with geometric patterns and an arch.
The character wears a complex headdress composed at the top of a mosaic of small recurring elements. At the back of the head, other vertical linear ornaments are present.

The benign bronzes are arguably among the most famous of Black African tribal art. In fact, they were in large quantities taken over by Western museums, especially from the ...

Gurunsi Mask
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African art > African mask > Gurunsi Mask

Ex-African collection Aidara.
Flet with tufts of hair and featuring a bird figure leaning between the globular eyes, this tribal mask of gurunsi is regularly incised with geometric patterns raised with kaolin. These globular-eyed African masks, depicting spirits from the bush, came out during ritual dances and were worn by village members wearing full-bodied plant-fibre outfits that covered the body. The ritual was to bring fertility and prosperity to the village, provided it was properly accomplished. These masks were also used during funeral ceremonies of notables, to celebrate passages of initiation grades or simply for entertainment. It was during a two-week initiation that young boys were introduced to the secrecy of masks and the meaning of their motifs. Religiously, the ...


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Bambara lock
African art > African Lock > Bamana Lock

Ex-collection French African art.
Targette Bambara, Bamana, consisting of two pieces arranged in cross, the chest, vertical, and the cross, horizontal and equipped with a hollow in which will fit the key. a metal part in the Fine grids are incised on the object and allude to the values and belief bambara. The grid would represent the creative waters and the four cardinal points. The locks, usually owned by women and symbolizing the union of two people, can be offered to them by their husbands at the time of a birth or to celebrate the installation of the wife at her husband's house. These are personal property that can be transmitted to girls and daughters-in-law. Raw wood, matte brown patina. Controlled xylophageal attacks.
Established in central and southern Mali, the ...


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190.00

Mask Senoufo Kpélyié, Kpelyie
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African art > African mask > Senoufo Mask

Senoufo tribal art.
The African mask of the Senoufo Kpélié means "mask that jumps", it consists here of two narrow stylized faces, joined, lined with fins and appendages. Shallow surface on which two incisions allow vision. Spotted patina consisting of yellow lacquer and oily dark residue. Lacks on the contours of the mask. The zoomorphic African masks of Senufo are worn by members of the Poro Society, an institution that controls political and economic life. Their function is to honor the elders or to appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would mainly drive the spirit of the deceased out of his place of residence. Living in a reserved neighbourhood, the sculptor sennufo , whose training spanned seven years, began with the making of everyday objects, and then, little by ...

Yaka / Suku Yiteke figure
African art > African Statues > Yaka figure

African art, charms of lineages.
Ex-french tribal art collection.
The abdomen of this anthropomorphic figure embodying a mediator ancestor was emptied to receive relics of ancestor or a magical ritual charge. A similar figure painted red ochre, in miniature, is attached to the neck of the character, a fish hangs in his back. These tribal statues providing protection against enemies were carried out according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the sponsor of the object. This powerful object of tribal art was then activated with rituals and incantations. The headgear of this figure, similar to that of the neighbouring Zombos who produced fetishes of the same type, is representative of those of the Kwango River region. One of the feet is damaged. Uneven matte ...


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350.00

Lega Zoomorphic Statue
African art > African Statues > Lega figure

Ex-english African art collection.
An African tribal statue belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, this sculpture is one of the objects "Masengo" ("powerful things"), among the diversity used during the initiations. With the face carved into the heart of the Lega figurines, the figure has a bulging bust, without arms, covered with scales, which could be associated with the owl or the Pangolin, whose scales are widely used in the headgear of the high-ranking Bwami. Glossy patina, locally abraded, long drying crack on one side, splinter on one foot. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were exposed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these metaphors, The latter largely refer ...


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390.00

Songye nkisi Fetish Statue
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African art > African Statues > Songye figure

Ex-Belgian African art collection
. Fetish statue nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) anthropomorphic , its forearms are positioned around a prominent abdomen in the center of which the umbilicus is hollowed out. With long braids, he also wears an animal horn in the center of his diadem, sealing the orifice in which a magical charge was frequently inserted. The particularity of these objects most often resides in the angular treatment of the form, the imposing triangular face whose chin blends into the beard, the corners of the mouth raised in rictus,and the forward attitude of the bulging belly. Golden brown patina, satiny. Very light cracks of drying of the base. These protective fetishes for houses are among the most prized in Africa. nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and ...


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Tschokwe Pwo mask
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African art > African mask > Chockwe mask

Ex-collection French African art.
An African mask used during the ceremonies of initiation of transition to adulthood, the mukanda , marked, among other things, the end of the privileged bond between a son and his mother. This specimen, a symbol of the first ancestor, is distinguished by the checkered cheloids forming bands on the forehead and cheeks. The special feature is also the headdress made up of woven raffia and feathers attached to the frontal band by copper wires. Old nail prints. Shiny patina, glossy. surface abrasions. Visible signs of age.
The African masks Chokwe pwo, among the many akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of African tribal art Chokwe, embody an ideal of beauty, Mwana Pwo, or the woman Pwo and appear today during festive ceremonies. ...


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Dogon primordial pair statues
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African art > African Statues > Dogon figures

Dogon african art
Minimalism for these longitudinal silhouettes erected on a conical base. These tribal-inspired bronze sculptures evoke the works of the famous Giacometti and are depicted as parallel legs and arms, palms open to the sky in an attitude of supplication. A very light radiance of the green-grey patina reveals the golden metal on the top of the head of a figure. The Dogons are a people renowned for their cosmogony, esotericism, myths and legends. Their population is estimated at about 300,000 people living southwest of the Niger Loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina Faso (north-west of Ouahigouya). The villages are often perched at the top of the scree on the hillside, according to a unique architecture. ...

Fang Ngil mask
African art > African mask > Fang mask

Ex-french African art collection.
Rituals of justice and African masks Fang. The drop of the forehead accentuates here the severe appearance of the protracted brow arches of a powerful, straight nose. The figuration of carnassière teeth also imprints a threat of vengeance on this primitive mask. Under the thin slits of the eyes, along the nasal ridge, arrow veins recall ethnic scarifications.
Soft wood, abraded surface, velvety dry patina. The appearance of these kaolin-coated masks (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause fear. This type of mask was used by the male ngil society in northwestern Gabon, south of Cameroon, and in Equatorial Guinea. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against ...


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380.00

Ewe Fetish
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African art > African fetish > Ewe fetish

In Togo, fetishes are part of beneficial or evil rituals according to the intentions of their owner. The fetishists make them on order to offer protective and medicinal virtues but also offer ready-to-use versions.
These practices still in use at the present time are sometimes decried and regarded as animistic and are no longer used in the era of Christianization and Islamisation. Nevertheless, people tend to maintain animist practices despite their conversion to the great monotheistic religions, the two beliefs influencing each other.
The Ewe, often confused with the Minas, are the largest ethnic group in Togo. They are also found as minorities in Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Although there is little historical information about them, it seems that their ...


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Goli Kplé Kplé Mask
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African art > African mask > Kple Kple mask

This circular African mask, called "junior", has a crenellated border, with hollowed eyes topped with protruding pupils, it has a rectangular mouth in which a dentition is chiselled,, in reference to the traditional filing of teeth in young people. Animal ears in reduction are represented on the rounded horns, evoking an attitude of alert, of awakening in the face of danger.
The kplekple female mask, according to some authors (Masques Africans Barbier-Mueller, p.116) would be red. Vogel (Baule) indicates instead that in the Baoulé version of the Goli the male mask is painted in red, and the female in black. This allocation is likely to vary from village to village. Generally preceding the manifestation of a series of masks of the family "Goli", this circular mask with rounded horns ...


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Mbala Pindi maternity figure
African art > African Statues > Mbala figure

Ex-collection French African art.
A tribal sculpture of a woman, a child on the hip, it stands out by a careful representation of the details and has a beautiful oiled patina to the satin touch, lighter in the protrusions. This type of object was a sacred symbol of authority. The hairstyle depicted offers great similarities with the mukote cap which, among the western pends with which the Mbala shared the rituals of mukanda circumcision , became a symbol of the struggle against colonization in the early 20th century ( "Congo Masks", ed. M.L. Félix, p.114)
A large drying crack appeared. wood erosion. This motherhood, accompanied by a musician figure, Limba, was part of the pair of emblematic Pindi sculptures attributed to Chief Mbala during his induction. After a retreat of a ...


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350.00

Chokwe Ancestor Statue
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African art > African Statues > Chokwe figure

Ex-Belgian African tribal art collection.
This tribal statuette glorifies the spiritual and physical power through the image of the founding hero of ethnicity, the ancestor Chibinda Ilunga, an emeritus hunter, wearing a majestic headdress. These hairstyles were made of various materials, specifically a wicker frame covered with fabric, brass, leather, beads. In one of his hands is represented an antelope horn in which magical substances were inserted. Brown patina has aureoles due to the application of castor oil and colouring plant decoctions. (B. Wastiau) Cracks of desiccation.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwe were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacrality of power. ...


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Gouro Zaouli dance mask
African art > African mask > Zaouli mask

Ex-French African art collection.
A tribal sculpture made in a dense wood, it offers a feminine face with fine lines, smiling, topped by a complex scene in the form of horns of sheep and animals of the savannah established on a circular platform. A lacquer of contrasting colors animates the surface locally abraded. Upper contour of the damaged mask.
Among the group of Southern Demands, in the center of Ivory Coast, the Gouro have been using a family of African masks associated with Zaouli dance since the 1950s. Like the Goli masks of the Baoulé, all the Guro masks come in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorph, which is considered the wife of the Zamblé mask, the Gu. Gu, whose function is apotropaic, represents a young woman with the beauty criteria of Guro, ...


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350.00

Ewe ritual sculpture
African art > African Statues > Ewe figure

African art and tribal worship vodun ewe and fon populations.
Clipped in clay materials in which amulets in the form of seashells clump together, the straight busts of three statuettes follow one another in a wooden canoe. At the front, a small vase, receptacle of a dried fruit, is adorned with a metal ring. The fetishes are coated with kaolin and adorned with pearl necklaces. In Togo, African fetishes are part of rituals beneficial or evil according to the intentions of their owner. The fetishists, following the ritual of divination using palm nuts, make them to order to offer protective and medicinal virtues but also offer versions ready to use more traditional. These practices, which are still in use today, are sometimes decried and considered as animist and over by the time of ...


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450.00





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