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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.

Medical jar
objet vendu
African art > African Jar > medical jar

French African art collection.
Mixed with Nalu and Landuman , Baga live along the coast of Guinea-Bissau in flooded swamp regions six months a year. 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 , represented by a large cage covered with raffia whose top is a bird's head. Apart from the famous Nimba mask, they created a powerful mask, a hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, in order to communicate with the spirits of the forest, and which they wore obliquely on the head. A red, orange and yellow polychromy, contrasting with the dark patina, remains noticeable. Kaolin brush residue. Surface matte, dry and flaked. This piece comes from an African art collector who wishes to ...


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Senoufo Setien hema mask
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African art > African mask > Senoufo Mask

From a spherical mask, dug with holes for the eyes, stands a stylized effigy of a mythical bird frequently identified as the calao, or Setien , one of the five animals of the Senoufo cosmogony. Its long, tapered beak, interpreted as the figuration of the male sexual organ" that perpetuates the life of the community, elegantly returns to touch the bulging chest symbolizing motherhood. The paws hug the dome of the mask.
Desication cracks restored in situ using metal staples, an old matte, velvety dark patina, locally abraded on a light wood.
The Senoufo , a name given to them by French settlers, are mostly composed of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the Senoufo villages. ...


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Yoruba dignitary seat
objet vendu
African art > African Chair > Throne Yoruba

Prestige of furniture, seats and stools in African art
This sitting featuring cariatid figures and bird sculptures associated with divination ifa has a recurring iconography in the statuary of the Yoruba people. Indeed, centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà , the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko), often read by the only initiates of secret societies. Six caryatids support the seat of their raised arms, four support the armrests, while human figures are depicted leaning on the rear studs of the seat. A polychromy distinguishes this piece of tribal art, the red pigments symbolizing blood and fire, here associated with green. Glossy dark brown patina, kaolin pigments, indigenous restorations (metal staples on the tray and arms)


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Sakalava Statue
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Sakalava Figure

African art Malagasy.
The tropical island of Madagascar is located off the coast of Mozambique. Its first inhabitants are said to have made up Polynesians who have taken refuge on the eastern coast of Africa, but have been repelled by Arab-Muslim traders. Several kingdoms developed there as early as 1500, including Sakalava on the west coast of the island. The most famous plastic achievements of the Malagasy are a statuary linked to funeral rites. While the Mahafaly statues were an integral part of pillars aloalo, the fragments of panels above the heads testifying, the figures of ancestors Sakalava, in a round-bump, frequently represent the deceased and his companion of the opposite sex. The north-east of the tomb, sacred position associated with the aurora, the resurrection, the ...


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Komo Bambara Warakun Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Bambara Mask

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
Stripped of any ornamentation, this African Komo Bambara mask, with toothed jaws, offers a cracked matte patina that softens the geometry of the piece. The crust on the object was once from a sacred lake, reinforcing the magical character of the mask. The hair tops, inserted by tufts on the mask, were mostly from the porcupine. Residual blue pigment inlays. From the guy Mercier collection of tribal art, consultant for the Solvay group, which undertook it at the beginning of the 20th century. 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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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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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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Large Royal Altar Head Benin
objet vendu
African art > African bronze > Large Royal Altar Head Benin

Ex private English collection of African art.

Altar heads are famous pieces in benign art. Like the other bronzes, they were cast using the lost wax technique. These pieces are very loaded with details and patterns. This royal head with realistic features has facial scarifications and many finely detailed ornaments. A recurring feature, the warhead headdress is imposing and beautifully decorated.

The art of Benin is described as a court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as oba. The tradition of Ifè's bronze classroom objects dates back to the 14th century.

The many bronze 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 ...

Figure Baoulé anthropo-zoomorphe
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Baoule figure

Belgian African art collection.
This baoulé sculpture, exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Pau in 1961, consisting of an effigy of asye usu associated with an animal forms an exceptional pair. The heads are turned in opposite directions, the arms are joined in order to welcome together the spirit of the bush, asye usu, or Mbra, an amuin (god) given to the Baoulé by the creator. These figures related to the worship of divination were carved following the dreams of the soothsayer. The surface of this baoulé statue gradually developed a chipped crustal film resulting from successive ritual libations. Acquired by Guy Mercier, consultant for the Solvay Group, who began to collect a vast collection of early art at the beginning of the 20th century. While radiating in West and Central ...

Bwami Lega Headdress
African art > Headdress Hat > Chapeau League

This type of head adornment is worn by the members of the highest ranks of the secret bwami society governing the lega social structure, open to circumcised adults and their wives and who instruct their adherents in terms of moral perfection
These objects are part of the masengo , meaning that they are sacred and can therefore only be worn by the initiates. The owner cannot part with it during his life. Bwami has varying degrees, with yananio and kindi being the highest.

The materials used vary, they can be clothing buttons, cauris, pearls or cocoa beans. On a carefully braided cap of natural fibers, this head cover is completely covered with rows of pangolin scales, animal totem of Lega that suels of initiates can consume. He would have taught them the art of making the ...


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340.00

Statuette Beembe, Bembe, en ivoire
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Bembé Fetish

Rare ivory sculpture depicting a male ancestor Bembé,Béembé, this figurine has, engraved on the bust, body marks associated with scarifications, witnesses of the social and initiation evolution of the individual, specific to cultures Kongo. Almond eyes were originally to be encrusted with mother-of-pearl, bone or earthenware. The attitude, seated in a suit, is the attitude adopted by dignitaries during interviews. The character holds a fly-hunt, badge of authority. The attention to detail and symmetry characterizes this refined work. Golden surface by oil anointings mixed with red ochre pigments.Ex. Mercier collection. A piece that predates the ivory regulations.
Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex. Brazzaville, the small group of Babembé (pl.) was ...

Mask Dan Zapkei or Gunye ge
African art > African mask > Masque Dan

This African mask from Côte d'Ivoire distinguished by its salient metal-studded eyes sports a grainy patina resulting from ritual libations. At the contours of the mask, consolidated by this same sacrificial cauldron, the remains of a canvas hood whose ends knotted at the top adjoin with long nails. A thick raffia beard embellishes the jaws. The parallel grooves engraved around the face recall the traditional scars of the Dan. This mask is known as the "-race mask (sharp face, hollowed out round eyes, a long mouth and a lo-blinked mouth held against the face using cotton strips attached to the perforations of the contours and knotted behind the head. Tradition has it that its wearer be pursued by an unmasked runner; If he is caught, he must pass the mask to the winner, who in turn will be ...


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600.00

Nok head in terracotta
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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Vase Cuba
African art > Usual african items > Kuba cup

Plenty of decorative sculptures in African art kuba
Supported by a cove and two female cariatid figures established on a circular base, the cut is engraved with geometric decorative motifs borrowed from the scarifications, also taken up on the textiles in raphia shoowa. The frieze imbolo , composed of intertwined lines, garnishes the edges of the cup. Various forms of cups were carved, the adornment of which sought to glorify the qualities of their owners. Matte patina abraded.
The highly organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed a king or nyim in its centre inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group.
This was considered to be of divine origin. Both head of the kingdom and of the bushoong chiefdom, he was attributed supernatural virtues from witchcraft or ancestors. ...


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490.00

Statue Paré / Zigua Tanzania
African art > African Statues > Paré Fetish

This male figure, represented in an unusual position, a leg widely slanting, adopts a voluminous head in which the pupils were set with pearls. The large circular ears also form one of the specificfeatures of East African statuary. Arms with joined fingers are brought back in front of the bust, and an assemblage of animal horns and dried fruit features the genitals. The feet, very frustrated, have the appearance of stumps. The sculpture is swaddled in a red fabric that a brilliant ritual-encrusted, locally cracked, stiffened slitm. The resulting patina, dark brown, is speckled with residual light ochre pigments. The top of the head has been hollowed out to place ingredients that are now absent for protective or therapeutic purposes. This statue comes from the northeastern region of ...


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490.00

Statue Pombo Sapi Kissi
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Nomoli

French African art collection.
Among the tribes living in Sierra Leone, Mende and Kissi, mostly rice farmers, worship stone statues dating from the Sapi kingdom. The latter stretched from Guinea to Liberia until the 16th century.The Temné organized themselves as chiefdoms led by a supreme leader. The company ragbenle or mneke, responsible for fertility, intervened at the death of the chief. The association bundu, meanwhile, prepared young girls for their adult lives. The Temne and Bullom made a lot of ivories "afro-Portuguese" following European orders. The Mendé's U-002nomoli", placed on altars, benefited from libations in order to increase harvests. These stone sculptures, mostly in steatite or saponite, called pombo (deceased) played, on the other hand, in the Kissi, a role of ...


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Couple of large shoulder masks Baga Nimba
African art > African mask > Baga Masks

Cut from light wood, these shoulder masks emanating from the Northern Baga and also used by the Nalu have a voluminous head with a buzzed nose evoking a bird's beak surmounting a tubular mouth, a long summit ridge, and wide horseshoe ears. A metal clipping, hidden by the grainy matte patina, highlights the eyes and face on which also emerge chevron stripes evoking traditional scarifications. These masks would embody an idealized baga woman, i.e. principles of fertility and abundance of harvests and occur during harvests, marriages or deaths.
Ex. Belgian collection Mercier.Granular surface, abrasions and desisication.
Mixed with Nalu and Landuman , Baga live along the coast of Guinea-Bissau in flooded swamp regions six months a year. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, ...


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Lega introductory statuette
African art > African Statues > League figurines

Made of los or ivory or carved in wood, and deciphered by the initiated only through the context of their ritual use, the masks and statuettes of the Lega most often referred to proverbs and sayings: Small anthropomorphic figure female, with a hease volume, it is built on circular, crenellated legs, and has reduced arms whose structure echoes the lower limbs. The traditional scarifications rendered by the punctiform details, the neck seeming encased with a large crafted torque, the exorbitant appearance, and the golden yellow patina that oil anointings and use have helped to lacquer and luster, contribute to make this coin an object of exception prior to the regulations on the ivory trade. It was collected in 1948 by an ivory dealer and then acquired by Prof. Jan Putteneers and presented ...


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1980.00

Statuette Ewe Venovi
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Twin Venavi

A Togolese version of Nigeria's Ibedji Yoruba, the statuette carved from light wood features rounded volumes and an ovoid face with protruding eyes. The sculptor's talent is revealed here by the realistic appearance of a child in spite of woman's breasts. A desication crack divides the bust, the feet are missing. Honey glossy patina.Ex. collection of the painter 'a target''blank' href''http://wiki.ibb.town/Karl-Heinz-Engstfeld' Karl Heinz Engstfeld and Ruth Engstfeld-Schremper, a greal artist.
The Ewe consider the birth of twins called Venavi (or Venovi) as a happy omen. They must be treated equally and fairly. For example, both will be fed and washed at the same time and will wear the same clothes until puberty.
If one of the twins dies, the parents obtain a statuette to ...


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Female figure Agni
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African art > African Statues > Statue Agni

The work of a sculptor of the Agni ethnic group, a subgroup of the rich and famous Akan people present in Côte d'Ivoire and southern Ghana, this African statue with numerous tegumentary ornaments is depicted sitting on a stool akan . The remarkable work of the carefully coiffed head, the subtle modeling of the features, give a meditative character to the character. The imposing volume of the bust, with breasts sagging by age and motherhood, also distinguishes this rare piece. In contrast, the undersized legs rest, apart, on a base at the edge of the ribbed. A textile loincloth decorates the statue. This statue used by the fetishist provided communication with the spirits of ancestors and geniuses established in the supernatural world and belonged to the female Comians members of secret ...


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Chockwe fetish adornment
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Chockwe fetish adornment

Ex Belgian African art collection.
The passport mask was used to identify an ethnic group and his or her rank among his own when he was travelling. It represents a Chokwe Pwo mask. Always worn by men, these masks are used in ritual dances dedicated to fertility. However, mastered by the sorcerers, they can take on an evil character and become Wanga. This fetish adornment in leather and fur is equipped with a mask presumably fashioned from the femur of a pachyderm, The facial features are detailed and very expressive. Ornaments in cauris, bones and wooden rings decorate this exceptional piece.


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