SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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This exceptionally beauitful and rare drum originates with the Baga peoples, who occupy a narrow stretch of marshy lowland along the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. Almost without exception, Baga drums are featured in the most important tribal art collections in the world. The Baga, one of the smallest ethnic groups in Guinea, have lived relatively isolated from their inland neighbors and foreign visitors due to the vast swamps that surround them. Yet the Baga have created a significant artistic legacy that includes magnificent headdresses, figurative sculptures, masks, and functional objects as well as musical instruments. The Baga are known for their dynamic performances and ceremonies, both religious and secular, in which music and art play an integral role.” Source: Smithsonian Institution (http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/baga.html).
In this drum, the head shows extensive signs of use, and appears to be the original head, affixed to the drum for many decades, to a point in which it has developed its own patina. The stylization of the four figures supporting the drum, known as “D’mba”, is exceptional, each a work of abstract impressionist structure. As most art collectors are aware, Picasso was heavily influenced by the style of the face and nose on these figures, and dedicated a great deal of sculptural time to incorporating its design into his work, particularly in bronze. As Frederick Lamp writes, “D'mba represents neither a deity, nor an ancestor, nor a spiritual being. Instead, it has been described as an "idea" representing "beauty, comportment, righteousness, dignity, and social duty" (Lamp, loc. cit.: 158-159 with 155 bottom). The existence of both female and male D'mba figures supports the interpretation that the D’mba iconography is neither male nor female and that D'mba represents crosses gender lines”, representing the unattainable; the beauty, goodness, and high comportment that were epitomized was beyond what any woman - or man - could be" (“Art of the Baga”, Lamp, F. pg. 180). An interesting point of note is that the sub structural figures on the piece are more heavily abstracted than nearly all D’mba illustrations one will find. We do not know why this is the case; one theory is that this stylization is simply the result of the drum not being “finished” by the carver(s)/ that the drum needed to be used and they adopted a more abstracted “look” to the figures so that it could be played as soon as possible.
|Lot ID: 58|
|Low Estimate: $9,000|
|High Estimate: $18,000|
|Next Bid: $6,500|
|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), encrustation, stain and polychrome paint, hide (drumhead), pigment|
|Dimensions: 29.5'' (74.93 cm) height x 13'' (33.02 cm) width|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Other|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Other|
|Although form and iconography are usually the focus of a work of art within the context of an art museum, function is certainly another important consideration. A drum’s primary function, for example, is as a musical instrument to be played by a musician in performance. It is difficult to separate the experience of African ceremonies - both religious and secular - from music. African ritual and social life is permeated with music created by musicians on an astonishing variety of instruments. Most pervasive are drums, technically referred to as membranophones. Musicians have provided inventive rhythms for festivals, processions, dances, welcoming ceremonies, masquerades and even as communication. “Art of the Baga: A Drama of Cultural Reinvention” Lamp, Frederick, Prestel Publishing, 1996, “Africa, The Art of a Continent”, Prestel Press, 2004, “A History of Art in Africa”, Visona, Monica, Poynor, Robin, Cole, Herbert M., Prentice Hall, 2000|
|Provenance: Ex. Galerie Olivier Larroque, Nimes, France (original certificate of authenticity and ownership included); Ex. Private Colonial Collection, France, Ex. Michel Gaud, St. Tropez, Exhibition History: Vetted as antique and authentic by a committee of tribal art experts and exhibited at BRUNEAF, Brussels, January 2016|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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