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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.

Tombula Vili Mask
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African art > African mask > Vili Mask

This mask, lined with hammered copper strips, is reminiscent of kota sculptures and reliquaries. A headdress made up of parallel shells extends into a fan behind a prominent front whose amplitude is counterbalanced by a prognathic jaw. Lack of mouth.
Present along the Gabonese coast, the Vili detached from the Kongo kingdom in the 16th century and the Loango Kingdom became a powerful state. Now urbanized for the most part, however, they still incorporate traditional associations, dependent on the cult of ancestors such as the Mbouiti or the Bieri. Like the Kongo group, in order to protect themselves from witchcraft and various plagues, they produce a wide variety of magical ritual objects of the nkisi type. Their masks are used by the association Ndunga or Djembe , but also for the ...


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Holo Hamba fetish statuette
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African art > African fetish > Statuette Holo

The Holo used statuettes to guard against the influence of evil spirits, including the moon and rainbow. These statues were placed near the houses as protection against lightning. Bird figures are also used to protect against ndoki, or wizards, who would activate evil spirits.
In this case the owl embodies a nocturnal protective spirit. The figure Kaponya wa Pwo nyi cikungulu is lined with disparate elements, talismans in the form of ritually charged horn, barks, dried fruits, fagot of feathers. Pink and white ochre pigments were applied to the set. The end of a foot is gnawed.
Situated in The Democratic Congo between the Yaka and the Chukwe of Angola, the small Holo ethnic group migrated from the Angolan coast to settle near the banks of the Kwango River. Hunting and ...

Salampasu Mukinka Mask
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African art > African mask > Salampasu Mask

This African Mask of the Salampasu type, covered with a network of copper strips, has a broad bulbous forehead with a non-existent eyebrow line. The almond eyes end in point towards the circular ears, the nasal volume gradually widening towards the cheeks in the center of which the slightly upturned nasal tip reveals the holes of the nostrils. A simply hollowed-out rectangle acts as a gaping mouth in which the teeth are carved. The top cap consists of black-tinted wicker balls. The rim of the mask is lined with perforations in order to attach the raffia adornment to conceal the dancer during ceremonies related to the society of warriors and initiation rites. At funerals, masks could also be displayed in connection with the deceased's previous initiations, and in many cases for ...


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Sold for 320.00 € 256.00 ( -20.0 %) Find similar item

Chokwe Ngulu Zoomorphic Mask
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African art > African mask > Chokwe Mask

The Tschokwe, in African art, have a male association, the mukanda , which makes use of about thirty African masks, made of wood, for various social purposes and related to ancestors: the mask cikugu, the cihongo , the mask pwo, kalelwa, cikunza, but also this type of animal mask, the ngulu , which was worn on a basketry base. It was also accompanied by coloured cotton fabrics and various small objects. The obscene behaviour that accompanied his exhibition contrasted with the other masked dances. A ribbed pattern perpendicularly crosses the object, from the groin to the end of the skull. Narrow eyeballs with perforated pupils are placed obliquely, while pointed ears animate the surface. A polychrome brush was used on the surface. The Bantu-grown Tschokwe had settled in eastern Angola, but ...

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Fang Ngil mask
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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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Zaouli Dance Gouro Gu Mask
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African art > African mask > Zaouli Mask

African mask of Côte d'Ivoire and animal symbolism in African art. This monoxyle sculpture depicts a fine female face whose headdress is surmounted by two animal figures. A lively polychrome laquise embellishes the room.
Among the group of Mande in the south, in the center of Côte d'Ivoire, on the banks of the Bandama, the Gouro are organized in lineages, and constitute the western neighbors of the Baoulé who have borrowed several characteristics of their creations. Animists, they have been using a family of masks associated with the dy Zaouli. Indeed, like the African masks Goli des Baoulé, all Guro masks, related to the geniuses of nature, come in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorph, who is considered the wife of the mask zamblé , the Gu . The Gu , whose ...


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350.00 € 280.00 ( -20.0 %)

Tikar Ritual Bell
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African art > African bronze > Bronze Tikar

The leaders of the Cameroonian Grasslands, the Fon , reputed to hold treasures of works of art, including bracelets, necklaces, statues, bells, valued the founders and sculptors in the service of the kingdom. These productions, without which the conductor lost his prestige, aimed to magnify the role of the fon. The technique used was the cast with lost wax, the decorations varying according to the status of the recipient to whom the king wished to award a reward. The Bamoun sometimes bought works from the Tikars, who were also gifted in metalwork. From 1920, the founders no longer used exclusively for the court. Located in the border region of Nigeria, the northwestern province of Cameroon, Grassland is made up of several ethnic groups: Tikar, Anyang, Widekum, Chamba, Bamoun and Bamileke. ...


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450.00 € 360.00 ( -20.0 %)

Koulango Maternity
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African art > African Maternity > Statue Koulango

Named Pakhalla by the Dioula, the Koulango formed the Loron in the Voltaic territory. The chiefs Dagomba of the Kingdom of Bouna would then have called them " Koulam " (singular: koulango , subject, vassal). Their complex history has spawned a culture no less complex. It is between Burkina Faso and Comoé, in the north-east of Côte d'Ivoire, that their territory extends. An imist fetishistic religion, they address their ancestors and the spirits of nature through sculptures in which the soul of these spirits are supposed to reside.
Female fertility figure depicted sitting on a royal stool, it features a ringed neck and a colorful, vase-shaped crest with coloured scales. An infant heads her breast. Blue and red pigments reveal certain traits.


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Mask crest Ekoi Ejagham
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African art > African mask > Mask crest Ekoi Ejagham

The Ekoi in African Art From a conical base in woven basketry stands a wooden head covered with animal skin, usually antelope, but originally composed of a skull and human skin. has a hairstyle made up of six extravagant removable horns, which are also leather-wrapped, with an open mouth, which could in some cases allow the ritual insertion of magic ingredients. oil, conferring on the object a lacquered appearance.The projecting eyes, circled with kaolin, stand out from the dark patina with carmine reflections.The costume of the dancer consisted of a large lattice of raffia cords, and more recently in cotton fabric, the masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that their softening leather and adopts a suitable luster.Leopard societies, such as the company male ...


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Krou Face Mask
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African art > African mask > Kru Mask

Two projections with brass pupils refer to the phrase often quoted in West Africa "Four eyes", describing a person endowed with a power of divination. This African mask Kru also uses cannons from war masks Guéré produced by the bloodlines Wé thanks to the multiple horned elements animating the surface. The horns at the top are an allusion to cattle, while cloth pouches contain apotropaic elements. A raphia cloth underlines the jaw.
Residual kaolin incrustations.
The Kru are divided into twenty-four subgroups, including the Grebo, based in southern Liberia and southwestern Côte d'Ivoire. Their leader is the bodio, who lives reclusively. Unlike most people in West Africa, they are not subject to Poro society. Their masks with tubular growths are said to be of origin oubi , ...


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Lobi Bateba Statues
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African art > African Statues > Lobi Bateba Statues

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
Frontal posture, arms and legs bent, the palms of the hands facing outwards, this feminine Lobi effigy features a naturalistic feature imbued with a meditative and serene expression. This ancient wooden effigy, the Bateba, was placed on the altar after a ritual to become the receptacle of a bush spirit, the Thil, and thus become an active, intermediate being that fights against sorcerers and other evil forces. The piece was visibly eroded to the feet. Fine lines of desication run through the wood, the appearance of which testifies to remnants of ritual libations in the form of grainy residues. Abraded parts reveal the veining of a light wood. When they are honoured, these spirits show their benevolence in the form of heavy rains, good health, ...


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Nkanu Drummer Statue
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African art > African Statues > Nkanu figure

This drum sculpture is from the Nkanu of R.D.C. They live on agriculture along the Lufimi River. Their villages are grouped in groups of four or five under the authority of a local chief leading the heads of families. Drum players also appear on carved wooden panels displayed during initiation rites. The sound of the drum, among the Kongo and Yaka, covered the groans of circumcision, drove out malevolent spirits, and encouraged future initiates. A similar piece was donated by François Edouard Cabra in 1903 to the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren.

Large orbits surround the pupils of the character whose face recalls The Yaka statuary. The face, covered with white clay and reddish pigments, is characteristic of the Nkanu. The feet of the musician represented on the drum ...


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450.00 € 360.00 ( -20.0 %)

Lwalwa Nkaaki Mask
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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 € 304.00 ( -20.0 %)

Moba Tchitcheri Statue
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African art > African Statues > Moba Tchitcheri Statue

The Moba statues are recognizable by their extremely simplified sculpture, always showing the same pattern: an imposing spherical head sometimes engraved with slender features resting on a body and filiform limbs, patinas vary from bright dark brown to light-colored wood. It has a beautiful patina of dark use on which there are leftover libations. The chitcheri represents an ancestor symbolized by a human body with an abstract face. It is initially planted in the ground. Tchitcheri sakwa evoke the memory of the founder of a clan.


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740.00 € 592.00 ( -20.0 %)

Pende Stick
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African art > Usual african items > Pende Stick

Ex-collection Belgian African Art The Western Pende live on the banks of Kwilu, while the Orientals settled on the banks of Kasaï downstream of Tshikapa.

The influences of neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu imprinted themselves on their large tribal art sculpture, and within this diversity the realistic Mbuya masks, produced every ten years, have a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chief, the diviner and his wife, the prostitute, the possessed, etc ... The masks of initiation and those of power, the minganji, represent for their part the ancestors and occur successively during the same ceremonies, agricultural festivals, rituals of initiation and of circumcision mukanda, enthronement of the chief Source: ...


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Leopard figure Benin
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African art > African bronze > Bronze Leopard

The leopard, depicting the royal power, has a central place in the culture of the benign kingdom because this animal appears in the founding myth of which King Ewuare is the hero. According to legend, he wakes up after spending a night next to a leopard and a snake without realizing it. As in other cosmogonies, animals are the manifestation or even the embodiment of supernatural forces. Being spared by these predators is therefore a sign of a divine blessing. Before the destruction of the palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897, the divine character of the kings, the Oba , was illustrated by numerous 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 chiefs, heavy ...


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650.00 € 520.00 ( -20.0 %)

Marotte monkey Bulu, Boulou
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African art > Puppets > Head Boulou

Ex-collection Swiss tribal art.
Ngil's marottes in African art

This handlescephalmorphic marotte embodies the spirit of an anthropoid monkey, with deep orbits under a skull in a cap. The neck could then be lined with cloth, raffia, and the groundhog came alive to the sound of the drum. At the top, wood was discreetly removed and replaced to introduce a magical ritual charge. The irregular surface has burgundy brown satin areas. Greenish residual pigments around the eyes.
Situated between Cameroon and Gabon, in the equatorial forest, the Boulou are part of the Fang ensemble. Neighbouring Kweles also have a mask featuring a gorilla called Gong. Like the Fangs of South Cameroon famous for their large white masks, the Boulou practiced the Ngil ritual to combat ...


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Nok head in terracotta
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African art > African Terracotta > Nok Head

This Nok head is accompanied by its thermoluminescence test carried out in 1996 by the German laboratory Ralf Kotalla (TL 961155), which confirms a seniority of more or less 2,200 years. Estimated in the auction room between 2,000 and 2,500 euros, this African terracotta comes from the Guy Mercier collection, consultant for the Solvay group, and passed down from generation to generation. At the beginning of the 20th century, Guy Mercier began to collect a vast collection of African tribal art. While radiating in West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collecting in-situ works, the majority of his collection nevertheless comes from \


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Songye KIfwebe Mask
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African art > African mask > Songye Mask

This African Songye mask, the kikashi , has eyelids stretched to the temples, a quadrangular mouth and a reduced naso-frontal crest. Parallel streaks, covered with white clay, embellish the sculpture, symbolizing plumage and the link with death.
Abrasions.
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 see absent, and finally the greatest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to originate from the adjacent area between the northern Luba and the Southeastern Songye. They are worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers, absent on this copy, during the most important ceremonies.


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Sold for 175.00 € 140.00 ( -20.0 %) Find similar item

Fertility figure Biga Mossi
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African art > African Statues > Mossi Fertility Figure

African art at the Mossi.
In the category of statues rather than dolls because of its size, this schematic anthropomorphic figure, whose appearance of the head varies by region, represents a spirit with which a relationship is established. The body is completely sheathed in dark brown leather, on which closely wrap cords that oil anointings have stiffened. They are lined with a leather fringe at the neck. Fertility attribute, the chest here blends with the shoulders. The angular, stylized head evokes the feminine crest hairstyle, the parallel incisions, the scarifications and the braids of the ethnic group. Satin brown patina. The use of dolls by young African women is not done exclusively within the initiation context. When menstruation occurs, the girl is considered a potential ...


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180.00 € 144.00 ( -20.0 %)

Ci Wara crest mask
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African art > African mask > Ci wara mask

Bambara in African art. Composite abstract variant of Ci Wara, this tribal art sculpture evoking the antelope is developed into a zoomorphic body with two horizontally extended heads of horns, probably referring to a reference to twinning in the creation of the Bambara world. Underlined with rhombic motifs and parallel incisions, the object was restored in situ using metal staples and vegetable fibers. The matt oily patina is eroded in many places, revealing a clear, desiccated wood. Rectangular metal base. Carried at the top of the skull and held in place by a kind of little basket, these tyiwara masks, more generally crest, accompanied the dancers during the rituals of tòn, an association dedicated to agrarian cults. The masks roamed the field leaping to chase away the nyam, the evil ...


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390.00 € 312.00 ( -20.0 %)





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