SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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|Teke, Democratic Republic of Congo|
Historically, the Teke carved and employed figurative instruments such as this figure used to bring good fortune, protect, heal, and counteract evil. While a carver produces the wooden figure, a ritual specialist, nganga, adds a multitude of substances and objects that give nkishi its power and enhance its visual impact. The additional materials can take the form of found items in nature, such as feathers, tree bark, sticks, stones, leaves, bones, pelt, or other materials, as well as acquired items, such as glass, metal, beads, etc.
This important Teke example shares the characteristic most consistent with Teke fetishes seen in Western museums and important private collections--"bilongo" or magic substances that are constructed in large, round, bulbous formations that are built around the center of the figure. This example is less common as there is not a single round thick, block of organic materials which have hardened with encrustation around the entirety of the center of the piece. We do not know the special intention of the piece which designed the bulb in solely the front of the figure, but the degree of power is no less significant. Part of the richness of the figure and richness are attributable to the heavy application of oil saturated on the face and neck and the layered applications which have left the face only partly recognizable; the remainder of the face is somewhat like a "memory"; leaving the viewer to wonder what the face originally looked like. As the large group of Teke collectors are aware, this piece has more provenance and history than most, with a paper trail that includes the Yale Archive, the collection of a very famous European member of COBRA, an auction history at Sotheby's, and a history with multiple public exhibtions. It is a fine figure in person, and very mysterious, leaving the viewer with a great sense of wonder. Highly recommended.
|Lot ID: 50|
|Low Estimate: $4,000|
|High Estimate: $8,000|
|Next Bid: $2,100|
|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 with applied oils, organic fetish material, ritual encrustation, stain|
|Dimensions: 9" (22.86 cm) height x 2" (5.08 cm) width x 2.5" (6.35 cm) depth (at belly)|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Statue|
|The Teke people settled in a territory lying across the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and Gabon. During the 15th century, they were integrated into the Tio kingdom, but attained independence in the 17th century. Today they live in villages led by a clan elder known as the Mfumu, who answers to a hereditary land-chief called Mfumu na tzee. Their economy is mainly based on farming maize, millet and tobacco, but the Teke are also skilled fishermen and traders. They believe in a supreme God, Nzambi, whose favors can be obtained with the help of tutelary spirits (passage from Tribal Arts of Africa) Lehuard, Raoul, Les arts Bateke, Arnouville 1996|
|Provenance: Provenance: Ex. Sotheby’s, Ex. Morgen Balle (Cobra Painter, 1921-199), Ex. Jean Paul Agogue, Paris, Ex. Private French Collection, Ex. Mark Eglinton, NY, Yale Archive No. 0039995~01, Exhibition History: Vetted by a committee of tribal art experts and exhibited at BRUNEAF, June 2015|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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