There is a nice range of objects and some very interesting ones in this auction. I am always most intrigued by seemingly unique forms and unusual styles. In the latter realm this Baule pair is particularly notable for its Lobi-esque body forms, neck scarification and coiffure:
Couple Baoulé "of a very archaic and abstract style, the body simplified, the facial features minimalist, only the neck is scarified, navel absent."
In terms of uniqueness, this "exemplaire unique" caught my eye. While the style of the head is consistent with that seen on Mumuye statuary, I am curious to know more about the free-standing head:
Tête Mumuye "exemplaire unique... a tutelary spirit, probably intended for personal protection, it was coated with oil and has a large cavity in the rear neck containing a magic charge."
There are also a number of figures and masks with northern Nigerian origins; among them are these figures:
Statuette Wurkum Nigeria, n°269
Statue féminine Tiv Nigeria, n°276
Statuette Chamba Nigeria, Lot n°93
Statue Nigéria and Lot n°249
Statue Jukun Nigeria.
This pair of Bamana (Bambara) figures display rather beautiful forms and the reference to "the sacred tree of the Dondoli" used for their carving indicates a potential area for further research. (According to Emile Sauvant's Grammaire Bambara, Dondoli is a wasp which lives in trees, and reference to a place called Dondoli appears in Dagaare oral lore, but I don't know the source of this reference which appears in the description...)
Important Couple de Statue Bambara "The sacred tree of Dondoli is always chosen for carving statuettes."
An unusual element of these Lobi figures is the support post which allows the figures to balance. I can't think of other examples of Lobi statuary which display this element.
Couple Lobi "statues are supported by a piece of wood carved in the back."
One additional West African statue which caught my eye with its pronouncedly stylized proportions and rich details is this one:
Other forms with which I am unfamiliar and which thus beg additional research are this vessel and shield from Chad:
Récipient Baguirmi Tchad; Lot n°204
Bouclier Tchad, Cameroun.
Also, in light of recent conversation pertaining to ibeji figures of the Yoruba, I thought I would point out these figures which interestingly all display similar surface features in spite of variations of form and details:
Another more canonical figure is this Kuba Ndop accompanied by documentation of its early 20th century collection history:
Statue Kuba, Ndop..."Offered by the Bushongo Chief Nyima to Commander Dandoy, 1932, Mushenge. The object is accompanied by the photo album of former owner, including several taken during his trip during which the statue was acquired in 1932."
The fine carving and collection history of this Yombe Nkisi caught my attention as did the minute opening in the solar plexus presumably present for the insertion of magical substances in a manner far more delicate than the usual Nkisi construction:
Statue Yombe Nkisi. "Collected by a Belgian military between 1900 and 1910. Photographed at the Belgian military academy in 1910."
I was also struck by the simplicity and the presence of raised elements on the cheeks of this cup and by this beautifully patinated whistle from the Kuba:
Coupe Kuba; Lot n°202
Sifflet Kuba R.D. Congo.
Other Congolese works that beckon further scrutiny include these figures and a mask pictured below:
Statue Mbole; Lot n°137
Couple Ngbaka; Lot n°138
Statue Yaka Congo; Lot n°185
Masque de buffle kiyundi Tabwa R.D. Congo
A selection of southern Central and Eastern African forms which really caught my interest were these pictured below -- particularly the Mbugu, Sengele and Nyaturu:
Horn with sculpted stopper. Mbugu, Tanzania.; Lot n°240
Couteau Sengele avec un personnage féminin R.D. Congo; Lot n°244
Staff finial. Kwere. By "Master of the Rotund [round?] Mother" Tanzania; Lot n°251
Maternité Kamba Kenya; Lot n°256
Masque Maravi. Malawi; and Lot n°259
On Oct 17, 2008, at 6:27 AM, Jan De Clerck wrote:
Could be of interest to the group:
http://www.pba- auctions. com/html/ index.jsp? id=2188&lng= fr
Like the classic Baulé (47, the couple (54) and the 97 the Kuba cup
(127), a good classic Hemba on 143, an interesting Zandé 168, the Kwere
244 and the Mangbetu harp 270.
Interested in knowing your opinions...
best to you