SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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Figures of this type have historically been found throughout the Akan area, and this antique example is fabulous. Their name literally means “Akua’s child” (Akua ba). According to Asante legend, a woman named Akua became pregnant and had a beautiful daughter by carrying one of these figures. Until recently, many Akan women used them to induce fertility or, if pregnant, to ensure the birth of a daughter. The figure is carried on the back like a living child until the desired result is obtained. This custom is probably ancient, even though it was not reported or described until 1885. Akuaba figures were carved by Akan artists only after they were requested by those in need of them, and they were then consecrated in sacred shrines before being put into personal use. Often, the akuaba would return to these shrines after successfully carrying out their duties. (Ref: Cameron, “Isn't S/He a Doll”; Garrard, “African Art from the Barbier-Mueller Collection, Geneva”; Visona, “A History of Art in Africa”). Akuaba dolls are iconic symbols of the African art form, and are represented in the majority of the most important private and museum collections worldwide. While contemporary examples of the doll can be acquired with relative ease, pieces from the late 19th/early 20th century, or those from important collections become available much less frequently on the art market.
Specifically with respect to this example, only a handful of dolls of this style have been documented in African art archives and in museum collections with embedded glass beads; stylistically is is not a common example.
|Lot ID: 57|
|Low Estimate: $1,800|
|High Estimate: $3,800|
|Next Bid: $950|
|Sale ID: 6|
|Sale Date: July 28, 2016|
|Sale Location: Virtual Auction|
|Sale Sponsor: African Artworks from Berz Gallery of African Art|
|Sale Terms: View here|
|Live Bidding Link: SALE CLOSED|
|Location of Origin: Africa|
|Medium/Materials: wood (one piece), stain, pigment, fiber, glass beads|
|Dimensions: 12.5" (31.75 cm) height x 4.25" (10.79 cm) width|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Other|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Statue|
|Cameron, “Isn't S/He a Doll”; Garrard, “African Art from the Barbier-Mueller Collection, Geneva”; Visona, “A History of Art in Africa”|
|Provenance: Ex. Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels (original certificate of authenticity and ownership included), Ex. Private Dutch Collection|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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