SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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This extraordinary, rare figure is somewhat of an enigma, as the face of the figure and extremely lightweight wood is representative of Punu figures from Gabon; but in discussions about the piece, Charlotte Grand-Dufay asserted (primarily due to the style of the coiffure) that the figure is attributable to the Lumbo tribe of Gabon, who employed figures such as this as fetishes or “empowered” objects to use in a variety of important communal rituals. As such, this lovely female figure is known as “nkoshi”. Nkoshi were thought to have been employed in divination rituals by the Lumbo and may have been used to protect ancestor bones and relics, much like the well-known Kota tribe brass-covered reliquary figures whose magnificent form inspired Picasso among other modern artists. The nganga - the diviner/healer/shaman - employed the nkoshi as part of rituals often performed in public. According to early accounts, the nganga invoked a spirit which had taken residence in the figure and the figure could be used as a judge in a dispute, to identify a guilty person or suspect in a crime, or to reveal harmful intentions or sorcery. The figure may have had adornments or other materials covering the surface, but we cannot be sure; the patina is smooth and beautiful. As collectors are aware, outside of important museum and private collections, few of these figures exist or become available for purchase.
|Lot ID: 54|
|Low Estimate: $14,000|
|High Estimate: $24,000|
|Next Bid: $7,000|
|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|
|Dimensions: 9.25'' (23.49 cm) height|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Other|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Statue|
|Amrouche (Pierre), "Un masque Mukuye Punu du sud-Gabon", in: La Revue. Le magazine de Pierre Bergé & Associés, Brussels, No.10, Mars 2007|
Bolz (Ingeborg), "Zur Kunst in Gabon", in: Ethnologica, Neue Folge, Band 3, Koln, 1966
Falgayrettes-Leveau (Christiane), "Les masques", in: "Gabon présence des esprits", Musée Dapper, Paris, France, 2006
Fourquet (André), "Chefs d'Oeuvre de l'Afrique: les masques Pounou", in: L'Oeil. Revue d'Art, no.321, April 1982
Gabon Vivante. Minestere de l'information et du tourisme de la republique gabonaise, 1966
Perrois (Louis), "Arts du Gabon, Arts d'Afrique Noire. Les Plastiques du Bassin de l'Ogooue", Arnouville: Arts d'Afrique Noire, 1979
Perrois (Louis) & Grand-Dufay (Charlotte), "Punu", Milan: 5 Continents Editions, 2008
|Provenance: Ex. Lucas Ratton, Paris (certificate of ownership and authenticity included), Ex. Private French Collection; Vetted by a committee of experts and exhibited at Parcours des mondes, Paris, September 2015|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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