Hello again all,
I wish to thank everyone for the very informative and lively replies to
my posting. Especially to Gary Schulze and Ann Porteus: your comments
and examples are spot on. The quest for info on this piece is fulfilled
and I am delighted to know so much more than before.
I certainly recognize now that my statue is of contempory(second half
of the last century)production. However, I see the makers not as fakers
but skilled artisans, working hard and with somewhat classic methods.
Naive perhaps, but the Brits did NOT crush all aspects of Benin culture
and industry, and methinks this statue is evidence.
Again, thanks to all contributors
--- Ann Porteus <ann@...
> I have uploaded some images to Flickr showing a brass casting
> workshop in Bamende as well as images from the markets.
> Set: The art of "Bronze" Casting, Cameroon.
> Collection: Travel photos from Africa
> You are welcome to browse.
> Unfortunately I was not in Bamende when the bronze were being cast.
> These images will show the steps taken in the process of casting
> small solid brass in the traditional lost wax technique.
> On 29/01/2008, at 8:51 AM, Aaron Weston wrote:
> > In 1996, one gentleman bought every bronze in Cameroon that he
> > could find. The inventory has not been the same since then.........
> > Ann Porteus <ann@...> wrote:
> > I agree, that this piece may have been cast in Cameroon. Some of
> > their contemporary work as well as the work of the Benin "Bronze"
> > caster's is beautifully executed.
> > Just a few years ago in Foumbam I saw many very large pieces of
> > both Cameroon and Benin style.
> > While in the grasslands recently I noticed there were no longer
> > many large pieces available.
> > I spoke with one artist who makes these bronzes and he said that
> > most cannot afford to buy the metal any more.
> > He said that recent mining and export of their copper in Cameroon
> > by Chinese Multinational companies has pushed the prices up beyond
> > the budget of the local people.
> > I photographed his workshop and will upload some pictures to Flickr
> > later.
> > Maybe we should be paying more for these pieces in Africa. Consider
> > how long the artisans of the region have been casting metal in the
> > lost wax technique. I believe that it would be very sad if the
> > skills of the artisans who make these pieces was lost from the
> > region simply because they have not been properly reimbursed for
> > their work.
> > I agree as do the artisans in Cameroon that these pieces should not
> > fetch the high prices achieved by old historical works.
> > While acknowledging that the prices asked in Cameroon and for that
> > matter the rest of West Africa relate directly to the quality of
> > the piece I have been concerned at the very low prices asked in the
> > western market place for some of these bronzes.
> > I wonder if the maker was paid fairly for his work? Will he have
> > some cash remaining after he feeds his extended family to buy the
> > materials for his next piece?
> > Life for these people is very hard.
> > Yes we should pay the appropriate price but not if it is at the
> > expense of the maker.
> > ann
> > On 29/01/2008, at 6:14 AM, stellatebronze wrote:
> >> Gary is quite correct. You can find many versions of these "Benin
> >> Bronzes" all over the various Ebays and other online auction-sites
> >> --in
> >> the US/Germany/Belgium etc. They are mass produced, and obviously,
> >> their ubiquity, good business. A true Benin bronze would command
> >> leat many,many thousands- so certainly no dealer would sell an
> >> authentic piece for just a few hundred. Buy them because you like
> >> them,
> >> and only then at the appropriate price. ---
> >> In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, GARYGLS2000@... wrote:
> >> >
> >> > I'm afraid it's a contemporary piece, in the Benin style, but
> >> probably cast
> >> > in the Cameroons.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
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> >> >
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