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African

Welcome to the African Art Gallery. Offered here are antique Tribal artworks as well as ancient African terracotta items. This gallery will be regularly updated so check back often. Please ask if you would like additional photos or more in-depth descriptions. Enjoy your treasure hunt...

NOTE: All items being offered on this website have appropriate provenance and are legal to buy and own under the United States statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, Chapter 14. Every purchase comes with a written certificate of authenticity (COA) and are fully guaranteed to be as described. Provenance and accurate, detailed condition information is included with each listing.

To Purchase or Ask a Question: Contact me via email at: joey@ancientartifax.com or call 828-322-2942. Payment options are check, money-order or PayPal. Credit Cards can be processed through PayPal. Discount may apply on the purchase of multiple items.

Shipping costs not included in purchase price. Tracking info will be provided. Shipping options are USPS Priority Mail, UPS Ground and FedEx. International sales (outside of the United States) require payment via PayPal. All international shipping costs, insurance and import fees are the responsibility of the buyer.

Ancient African Koma Pottery Duality Figure Ghana Koma Pottery Figure — Ghana, Africa

1100 AD - 1500 AD

A large and very rare Koma pottery figure from Ghana, dating to the 12th to 16th Century. This complex 'duality' sculpture is comprised of two conjoined bodies topped by two janus-form heads. There are two pairs of faces, two are bearded males and two are females; facing in opposing directions. The heads are elaborately detailed with bold features characteristic of the Koma; including elongated heads, large coffee-bean shaped eyes and pronounced chin. The bodies are further adorned with applied necklace/collar with figural pendants, loin cloths, armlets and bracelets. Also seen are the extremely long fingers, pronounced breasts, and protruding navels; all common traits of Koma figures from this period. In good condition. Both heads have been reattached with visible glue lines. Three legs are missing as are the toes of the fourth leg. Numerous small losses and surface erosion along with several stable cracks. Overall shows a weathered surface with deposits as would be expected. Scattered roots imbedded, mostly in the deep crevices. An exceptional artifact from a little-understood people. Figures like this are typically found fragmentary. Seldom seen this intact and original. A fine example.

Koma figures were originally discovered in the 1980s in what is known as 'Koma Land'. The first were found during archaeological fieldwork directed by Professor Ben Kankpeyeng of the University of Ghana. Although there is little known about how such sculptures were used, scholars have suggested they were used in special ceremonies and rituals in which the spirits of the ancestors were invoked.

Ex. Eugene M. Kalinowsky estate of Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Kalinowsky was an artist, teacher, world traveler and collector.

Approx. 15" tall x 7" across.

$1750

Lobi Pottery Vessel Spiked Lobed Terracotta Pottery Lobi Pottery Vessel — Burkina Faso

Early to Mid-20th Century

A nice, older Lobi storage vessel (with lid) from Burkina Faso dating to the early to mid-20th Century. This type, covered with raised nodes, is among the rarest and most sought after of all African pottery. Lovely form with rounded bottom and decorated with 'spikes' on the upper half of the body and on the lid. The lid is original to this vessel; fits and matches perfectly. In near excellent condition. No cracks, breaks or repairs. A few missing nodes (as is common), otherwise intact and original. Moderate to heavy earthen deposits and encrustation as would be expected. A fine example that displays beautifully on the custom metal tripod stand which is included.

Ex M. Dailey collection of Charlotte, NC.

Approx. 9" tall x 8" across. Just under 10" tall on the stand.

$450

Lege Bone Carved Inginga Figure Democratic Republic of the Congo African Lega Bone Inginga Figure — DRC

Late 19th - Early 20th Century

A fine, old Lega 'Inginga' figure from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Carved from bone, sometimes in Ivory, these figures (called Iginga) are individually owned by only the highest ranking members of Lega society. Each member of 'Musagi wa Kindi' owned a bone or ivory human inginga figure as a sign of his status. They are the most coveted of all initiation objects. This early Colonial Period example is in excellent condition. A few vertical age cracks that occur naturally over time. The surface has a lovely honey-colored patina. An extremely rare and older tribal example. Comes mounted to a wooden block.

Ex. Eugene M. Kalinowsky estate of Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Kalinowsky was an artist, art teacher, world traveler and collector. He passed away in 2014 at the age of 85.

Approx. 8.25" tall. Just over 9" tall mounted.

$975

Baule Akan Colonial Period Carved Painted Standing figure Ivory Coast African Baule - Akan Colonial Painted Figure — Ivory Coast

Late 19th - Early 20th Century

An old and exceptional Baule - Akan standing female figure from Africa's Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), dating to the early Colonial Period. This fine example was once painted in red and green, then repainted in early 20th Century with a black oil-based paint, a common practice during early Colonial times in this region. In near excellent condition. Minor losses to both feet otherwise intact, complete and original. Small areas of paint chipping and wear from age and extended tribal use; as would be expected. Displayed on custom metal stand, included as shown.

Ex. Eugene M. Kalinowsky estate of Pittsburgh, PA.

Approx. 10.25" tall x 3" across

$850

Kirdi Cache Sexe Beaded Apron Goomba Beads Cameroon African Kirdi 'Cache Sexe' Beaded Apron — Cameroon

Early to Mid 20th Century

A nice, older cache sexe (modesty apron) from the Kirdi people of Cameroon, Africa. In the early to mid 20th century, the women of this region wore nothing but pubic aprons also known as cache sexes (literally meaning 'to hide the sex'). The practice continued until approximately 1961, when governmental restrictions required women to be fully clothed. Made from multi-colored glass beads woven with cotton thread and cowry shell fringe along the bottom. A lovely example; beautifully and skillfully crafted. In good condition. Shows wear and minor bead losses.

Ex. J. Behnkin estate of Atlanta, GA.

Approx. 9.5" tall x 11" across

$150

Ashanti Akan African Brass Bronze Figural Female Figure Fish Grill Ashanti - Akan Bronze Figural Scene — Ghana

Mid 20th Century

A vintage Ashanti - Akan cast bronze (brass - copper alloy) figural scene from Southern Ghana. This highly detailed sculpture is most certainly a large gold weight. It depicts a female figure standing over a raised platform, attending to a cooking fish. Below are sticks and mounds representing a fire upon which she grills the large (cat or mud) fish. Exceptionally detailed and well made. These miniature art works were traditionally used as counter-weights (locally known as mrammou) to measure gold dust. Prior to paper money and coins, gold dust was the common form of currency among the Ashanti and Akan people of this region of western Africa. In near excellent condition. One eye of the fish appears to be missing, otherwise intact and complete. There are minor casting flaws at the base, but they do not distract. Some light green oxidation in the crevices as would be expected and attest to the age of this exceptional example.

Ex. J. Behnkin estate of Atlanta, GA.

Approx. 3.75" tall x 2.75" x 2" across

SOLD

African Tuareg Silver Currency Bracelets Tuareg Silver Bracelets — Mali - Niger

Mid-20th Century

Two antique silver alloy bracelets from the Tuareg people of Western Africa, Mali - Niger regions. These heavy metal bracelets are worn as jewelry as well as used as a form of currency. Typically made of mixed metals (alloys), a combination of silver, aluminium, brass, tin, copper, etc. The Tuareg are well known for their exceptional metalwork. Both show traditional linear, circular and angular designs. They have a nice patina and surface wear from years of tribal use, which adds history and appeal to the engravings. Fine examples in near excellent and wearable condition.

Ex. J. Behnkin estate of Atlanta, GA.

Both are approx. 2.75" across. Inside (wrist diameter) just under 2".

SOLD


African Tribal Luba Salampasu Iron Wood Swords Central African Swords — Congo (DRC)

Late 19th to Early 20th Century

Three African swords from the Democratic Republic of Congo. All are older examples. Each has an iron blade and carved wooden handle. Custom metal display stands are included. Ex. Los Angles Estate collection.

Sword #1 (left) A nice Luba short sword with janus heads, dating to the late 19th - early 20th Century. The faces are well carved and it is in very good condition. Shows a rich patina from age and extensive tribal use. The blade has a rusted surface, but is an exceptional example. Swords from this period are getting increasingly difficult to find. Approx. 16.5" long. Approx. 17.5" tall on the stand. - SOLD

Sword #2 (center) A Salampasu short sword dating to the early 20th Century. Wooden handle with ribbed decoration. In good condition. The blade has a rusted surface with light edge wear and a few chips missing on the handle, otherwise intact. A nice older tribal piece. Approx. 21.5" long. Approx. 22.5" tall on the stand. - SOLD

Sword #3 (right) A classic style Salampasu short sword dating to the early 20th Century. Wooden handle with carved decoration. In very good condition. The blade has a rusted surface and has a large chip missing from the handle, but it is otherwise complete and shows a nice aged patina. Approx. 20" long. Approx. 21" tall on the stand. - SOLD



African Tribal Baule Bronze Brass Dagger Knife Baule Bronze Dagger — Cote d'Ivoire - Ivory Coast

Early to Mid-20th Century

An exceptional Janus-form bronze dagger (knife) from the Baule tribe of Africa's Ivory Coast. Cast in solid bronze (copper-brass alloy) with integral blade. The handle shows two, three-dimensional figures kneeling back-to-back against a post. One is a bearded male, the other female. The hilt is decorated with traditional geometric designs, typical of Baule metal art. The blade is engraved (impressed) with concentric circular dots on both sides. In excellent condition with a nice, aged patina. Considerable oxidation and deposits as would be expected on a bronze piece from this period. An excellent example with obvious signs of extensive tribal use. Displays impressively on the custom metal stand which is included.

Ex. M. Dailey collection of Charlotte, N.C.

Approx. 10" tall. 10.75" tall on the stand.

SOLD


Ashanti Akan African Brass Bronze Prestige Axe Ashanti Bronze Prestige Axe — Ghana, West Africa

20th Century

An exceptional bronze axe from the Ashanti peoples of Ghana. A large and very heavy cast bronze (copper-brass alloy) axe with integrated handle. Sometimes referred to as a 'prestige axe', these were not used in battle, but were used as a display of wealth and power. Likely owned by a tribal leader or village elder. The handle is decorated with snakes, crocodiles and geometric designs and has a suspension ring at the bottom. A piece of rope is tied through the ring. The axe blade has an openwork center featuring a chameleon. In fine condition. Some light pitting, minor casting flaws and a few areas of green oxidation, otherwise near choice. A custom metal display stand is included as shown.

Ex. Mint Museum of Charlotte, NC. The Mint's inventory code is written on the suspension ring. The number indicates it was donated to the Mint in 1981.

Axe is approx. 22" long. Approx. 19" tall on the stand.

SOLD


Yoruba Ashanti Akan African Brass Bronze Ring Pendants Yoruba Bronze Ring Bell Pendants — Nigeria

20th Century

A collection of 7 (seven) Yoruba bronze (brass alloy) ring pendants cast in the lost-wax technique. They can also be found among the Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast. These are typically incorporated in a necklace as beads, but can be worn as pendants or on the fingers. In good condition. All are intact and show light tarnishing and oxidation from age, but are strudy and wearable.

Each is approx. 3" in length.

$250 for the group.


African Ghana Lidded Blackware Funerary Vessel Akan Ancestoral Funerary Vessel — Ghana, Africa

Mid-20th Century

A large funerary vessel from the Akan tribes of Ghana. These blackware pottery vessels with figural lids are known as 'abusua kuruwa' or family pots. Atop the lid is a seated figure that represents an (idealistic) portrait of the deceased. Below the figure is a snake, meant to be a python, a symbol of death that encircles every living person. The abusua kuruwa were used in secondary burial rituals by the Akan. Family members would place hair and fingernail trimmings into the vessel as mementos of themselves for the deceased. Since hair and nails grow throughout our lives, these personal offerings empower the deceased to continue to 'grow and live' in the afterlife. The vessel, along with food and palm wine are presented as offerings to the deceased. The bowl section has a rounded botton, ribbed sides and a wide rim. The lid is a dome-shaped platform supporting the serpent and figure. Overall in good condition. Restoration to the rim of the lid and head of the figure. The bowl has some restoration to the rim. Both pieces have edge chipping, scrapes and surface wear consistent with age. Custom display stand included. Ex. M. Dailey collection of Charlotte, NC.

Approx. 15" across x 12" tall. Approx. 13" tall on the stand.

$950


African Burkina Faso Wooden Whistle Hunters Flutes Mossi Flutes — Burkina Faso

Mid-20th Century

A trio Mossi carved wood flutes (whistles) from Burkina Faso. An extremely rare set of three matching flutes, all with identical shapes and designs. Each has a wide mouth-piece with carved linear decoration and holes on each side to create different notes. The opposite end is pointed and has a suspension hole so they can be worn around the neck. The three were most certainly from the same tribal group and all made by the same carver. These flutes from the Mossi (also Lobi and Bwa peoples) are played to accompany balafons and drums during ceremonies and mask perfomances. They can be played singly or in groups. A flute plays a set of notes with a complex but very repetitive tune. Some flutes were also used by groups of hunters for communication. These are likley hunters' flutes as indicated by the pointed tip which is shaped like an arrow head. Also the the suspension hole makes them wearable and more easily 'portable' during hunting expiditions. Each is in fine condition with aged patina and signs of heavy tribal use. An exceptional set that displays nicely on the custom metal stand with is included as shown. Ex. Southern California estate collection.

Flutes range from 9.25" tall to 10.5" tall. Overall display is 13" tall.

$750 for the group.


Ashanti Akan African Brass Bronze Figural Chief Vessel Lid Ashanti Bronze Figural Lid — Ghana

20th Century

An Ashanti sand-cast bronze (brass alloy) figural scene from Southern Ghana. This is a lid that would have originally covered a bronze vessel or bowl, now missing. This type of vessel, with a figural lid, are said to have held golddust, but also are sometimes referred to as medicine pots. It depicts a chief or tribal leader sitting on his throne surrounded by two attendants. The chief holds a knife (dagger) as a sign of status and power. He wears a tunic decorated with interlocking circular designs. One attendant holds an umbrella topped by two human heads. The heads likely representing killed or captured enemies. A second attendant stands at the chief's feet, presenting a sword as an offering. The base (platform) is decorated with complex circular and linear geometric patterns. In fair to good condition. The umbrella and chief's dagger have been reattached and there are losses to the base and lower rim of the lid. These losses are possibly casting flaws. A custom metal display stand is included as shown.

Ex. M. Dailey collection of Charlotte, NC.

Approx. 5.5" tall x 3.5" across. Approx. 8" tall on the stand.

$225


Ashanti Akan African Brass Bronze Pendants Ashanti - Akan Bronze Pendants — Ghana

20th Century

A collection of 9 (nine) Ashanti - Akan brass-bronze alloy pendants cast in the lost-wax technique. The pendants (which may have also served as gold weights) contain a mask, turtles, scorpions and crab motifs. Great for jewelry as necklaces or on charm bracelets. In good condition. All are intact. Some show tarnishing and light oxidation from age, but are sturdy and wearable.

Sizes vary from approx. 1" to 1.75".

$150 for the group.


Ancient Bura Terracotta Pottery Head Bura Terracotta Head — Niger

3rd to 11th Century AD

A nice pottery head from the ancient Bura culture of Niger, Africa. Solid terracotta construction with elongated neck and stylized facial features as is typical. Eyes, nose and mouth are sculpted in high relief along with linear incising and stippling, representing ritual scarification. Broken at the bottom of the neck which would have orininally had a flared base. In good condition although the front has been scorched and shows dark (burned) areas on the surface. Much of the smooth outer surface has been lost to reveal the gritty tempered clay underneath. Fire damage is not common on Bura artifacts, but is understandable as these are typically found in fields during planting in areas that practice "slash and burn" agriculture. Displays well on the custom metal display which is included.

Little is known of the Bura civilization. Their art was first discovered in 1975. Most of the objects being excavated are terracotta heads or vessels. Many of these terracotta heads are fragments that are often damaged by plowshares and other tools during planting.

Just over 8" tall x 4" across. Over 10" tall on the stand

$450


Large Antique Igbo Bronze Bell Igbo Bronze Bell — Nigeria

Early to Mid 20th Century, possibly older

A large antique bronze bell from central Nigeria. Made in the lost-wax casting method by Igbo (or Igala) metalsmiths. Decorated at the top and bottom with sections of crosshatching divided by bands of circular designs. Condition is very good. There is a thin crack just below the domed top and a one-inch diameter hole on one side, otherwise intact. The iron clapper rod is suspended inside with modern string. A fine and old example with earthen encrustations and a few small areas of green oxidation.

African ritual bells were used for a variety of purposes, such as proclaiming a sacred presence as well as neutralizing hostile or harmful forces. Bells were used as tools of communication, as portable instruments for conveying important messages, and as a form of currency.

Just under 9" tall x 4" across

$275


Baule Bronze Brass Pendant Masks Baule Pendant Masks Collection — Cote d'Ivoire - Ivory Coast

20th Century

A fine collection of eleven brass-bronze pendant masks from the Baule people of the Ivory Coast. Pendant masks are not normally worn by most Akan peoples. They are most often found attached to various chiefly regalia, prominent sword sheaths or chiefly stools. They are said to represent the heads of defeated enemies and typically show stylized beards, facial scarification and forehead ornamentation. All are in nice condition and display well on the custom metal stand, included.

Masks approx. 3.25" tall to 1.25" tall. Display is 16" long x 7" tall.

$325


African Pottery Seated Figure Pottery Seated Figure — Western Africa

20th Century

Large and very heavy pottery seated figure from Western African. He sits with knees raised and hands held to face. A type that is difficult to attribute. Most likely from the Daggari or Lobi peoples of Burkina Faso, but is also similar to the creamic figures made by the Chamba people of Nigeria. Condition is near excellent. A few scrapes and dings, but completely intact. No breaks, cracks or repairs. A nice example that displays well.

Approx. 11" tall

SOLD


Mbole Hanged Male Figure - DRC Mbole Hanged Figure — Democratic Republic of Congo

Mid-20th Century

An exceptional Mbole "hanged" male figure from DRC. A nicely carved example with red pigment on half of the face and white textured kaolin paint on the other half and down the torso. The Mbole are known principally for their hanged figures known as "Ofika", which tend to be characterized by their geometric features, elongated emaciated bodies, enlarged heads with heart-shaped faces and crown-like coiffures. The legs dangle and arms rest on knees and appear inverted. The Mbole people construct their lives around a semi-secret society known as Lilwa Nkoi. They exercise social control over Mbole life and punish those who make transgressions against the tribe. Ofika figures such as this, represent men or sometimes women who were hanged for transgressing the moral and legal laws. The figures were shown to youths during their initiation into the association to illustrate the consequence of immoral conduct and also to instill in them respect for the authority vested in elders and leaders. Ofika were also displayed on other solemn occasions, such as executions, during periods of persistent bad hunting, when oaths were taken, and when serious conflicts between parties were settled. Each ofika bears the name of a specific hanged individual.

Condition is near excellent. Some pigment wear and general light surface wear along with minor chips and cracks consistent with age. Shows signs of age and tribal use. Custom metal display stand is included as shown.

Approx. 25" tall. Approx. 26" tall on stand

$750


Yoruba Gelede Mask - Nigeria Yoruba Gelede Mask — Nigeria

Early to Mid-20th Century

A lovely Yoruba Gelede mask from Nigeria. A visually striking example, well carved and of high quality showing exquisite craftsmanship. As is typical of Gelede masks of this period, the forehead is prominent along with stong, almost exaggerated features. There is facial scarification on the forehead and cheeks. The face is a brownish ochre color with a darker color (once black) for the hair. Gelede masks, such as this one, were worn by male Yoruba dancers at festivals honoring the women of the community, both living and dead. The masks were "danced" in elaborate performances known as "Gelede." This ritual would take place each year at the beginning of a new agricultural season. The purpose of the performance is to pay tribute to the special power of women, both elders and ancestors, who are known affectionately as "our mothers." Through their movements, gelede dancers express Yoruba ideals of male and female behavior.

Condition is near choice. Some pigment fading, general light surface wear, worm-holes and minor insect damage consistent with age. An exceptional example with obvious signs of age and tribal use. Custom metal display stand is included as shown.

Excellent provenance. Originally collected in the early 1950s by a Canadian geologist working in Western Africa for Esso Petroleum (now Exxon). The mask was later purchased in the 1980s by V. Richards, now retired Anthropology professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Approx. 11" tall x 6.5" across. Approx. 15" tall on stand

$1400


Kwele Mask - Gabon Kwele Mask — Gabon

Mid-20th Century

A fine older Kwele mask from Gabon of western coastal Africa. Lovely form and well carved example with large areas covered with white textured kaolin paint. The white coloring on the mask represents the spirit world - peace and tranquility. This example has pierced eye slots although eyeholes are not always cut through. Kwele mask are not worn on the face during ceremonies and instead are hand-held and shown to the spectators and onlookers. Kwele masks are carved and controlled by the Bwete association, which maintains social order within the tribe. The masks represent the spirits of the forest and are used during initiation ceremonies and or at the end of a mourning period to promote tranquility and well-being within the community. Kwele masks act as intermediaries between the world of the bush and that of the village. The masks are typically heart shaped and have both human-like and animal features with the mouth being very close to the chin. The eyes are narrow with wide arched eyebrows and a small pointed triangular nose. Kwele masks are thought to be among the most beautiful of all African masks.

Condition is near excellent. Minor scrapes and dings along with some staining and cracking of the kaolin paint, consistent with age.

Approx. 18" tall

$375


Senufo Carved Seated Figure Senufo Seated Figure — Ivory Coast

Mid-20th Century

Large Senufo seated figure carved from dense (very heavy) hardwood. Nicely carved and of exceptional quality. The male figure is seated on a stool and holding a ceremonial blade. It depicts a person of high status; likely a tribal ruler. He wears a loin cloth and has facial and body scarification. The ears and headdress are pierced for ornamentation. One shell ornament remains intact. The other two holes have only remnants of the original thread. Overall condition is near excellent. A few surface scrapes, but generally choice. A fine example that display dramatically.

Just under 25" tall

$1500


Fang - Gabon Figure Fang Figure — Gabon

Mid-20th Century

A nice Fang figure from the Gabon area of Western Africa. He stands on large feet with hands held to the stomach. A woven fiber waist wrap is secured with iron nails. Nails are also used for the eyes. Condition is good. Both legs have been reattached. Minor insect damage, surface scrapes and erosion consistent with age and exposure to the elements. These types of "Bieri" figures are among the most desirable of all African sculptures. A fine example showing signs of tribal use and aged patina.

Approx. 23" tall

$850


Yaka - Lula Fetish Bundle Figure Yaka - Lula Figure — Congo

Mid-20th Century

A fine Yaka - Lula fetish bundle from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The standing female wears a skirt and waist wrap of knotted fabric. At her sides are bundles of feathers wrapped with cloth and rattan fiber cords. This type of fetish was used by tribal healers (seers) during shamanic rituals. In near excellent condition. A few vertical age cracks and minor insect damage, else choice. A well carved and exceptional example with obvious signs of tribal use.

Approx. 18" tall

$1250


Kamba Beaded Stool - Kenya Kamba Beaded Stool — Kenya

Mid-20th Century

A fine Kamba stool from Kenya. Most likely dating to the 1960s. Well carved from a single piece of wood with inlaid glass beads recessed into the seat. Stools of this type were reserved for male elders and were a prestigious display of wealth and respect. Condition is excellent. All of the beads are intact. Signs of wear from tribal use as would be expected and desired. Very minor insect damage. Overall a great, older example.

Approx. 9" tall x 8" across

$375


Baule Pendant Mask Senufo Brass Mask — Cote d'Ivoire - Ivory Coast

20th Century

A Senufo metal pendant mask. Cast in brass (or bronze) by the Senufo brass casters guild known as Kpeene, this Kodoli-yehe mask combines elements of Senufo mythology and culturally known symbols. The horns are those of the powerful buffalo important to Poro initiates. The small legs below the chin symbolize the hornbill bird, one of the Senufo primordial creatures and the first to be hunted by men. The shape of the face and protruding lips are well known style elements of Senufo sculpture. Smaller than the full-size masks, but larger than most pendant masks. A great example.

Approx. 6.75" tall x 4" across

SOLD


Ashanti Goldweights Ashanti Goldweights — Ghana

20th Century

Three exceptional Ashanti - Akan brass-bronze goldweights cast in the lost-wax technique. One depicting a fish, another is two conjoined crocodiles (one is eating a bird) and the other a triangular form with complex geometric designs. Goldweights have been called "masterpieces in miniature" reflecting artistry in service to commerce. Used in trade with European merchants along the Ivory Coast or Islamic traders from the north, gold dust was measured on scales called "nsania" using small sculpted weights known as "abrammo". Most people engaging in trade owned a set of weights ranging in appearance from small geometrically patterned weights to complex figurative and representational designs.

Sizes vary from approx. 2.5" across to 4.5" across

SOLD


Baule Seated Figure Baule Seated Figure — Cote d'Ivoire - Ivory Coast

20th Century

Nicely carved Baule figure from the Ivory Coast. Seated on a stool with hands resting on the knees. Beautifully detailed face and hair with body and facial scarification. In fine condition with a few age cracks along the head and body, but overall near choice. An attractive example that displays well.

Approx. 17.5" tall x 4.5" across

$475


African Chamba Drum Chamba Drum — Nigeria

20th Century

Small two-headed drum from the Chamba tribe of Northern Nigeria. Gently tapered wooden body with animal hide drum-heads on both ends, lashed firmly together with strips of tanned hide. An additional strip of hide serves as a handle. Overall condition is near excellent. Both heads on this drum are intact, tight, strong and playable. The drum-heads are rather small and would have likely been played with the fingers or via sticks.

The Chamba people are a small group today living south of the Benue River in Northern Nigeria. This is an area of mixed art and influences.

Drums are among the most important art forms in Africa, used both as a musical instrument and as a work of sculpture significant in many ceremonial functions including dance, rituals, story-telling and communication of messages.

Approx. 10" tall x 4.5" across

$225


Djenne Vessel Djenne Vessel — Mali

12th - 16th Century

Djenne polychrome pottery vessel. Cylindrical form with rolled rim. Carved and painted geometric designs decorate a central band. Reddish slip over orange terracotta with cream and brown paint. Likely served ritual and utilitarian purposes. Possibly employed as a storage vessel for water or milk. Condition is generally very good. Areas of wear and paint loss, consistent with age. Surface erosion mostly on the bottom, minor rim chips, but intact with no breaks, cracks or repairs. Overall a fine and rare example.

Djenne, the oldest known city in sub-Saharan Africa is situated on the floodlands of the Niger and Bani rivers, southwest of Timbuktu. Founded by merchants around 800 AD, Djenne flourished as a meeting place for traders from the deserts of Sudan and the tropical forests of Guinea. It developed into Mali's most important trading center from the 12th to the 16th century. The area in and around Djenne was later (and is currently) occupied by the Dogon and Bamana tribes of Mali.

Approx. 6.5" tall x 3.5" across

SOLD


Congo Knives African Knives — Democratic Republic of the Congo

20th Century

Two fine Congo blades (swords). Likely not made for battle, but are intended for show & ceremonial use. Both are well made examples in near excellent condition. The hilts are firmly attached. Wooden handles have age cracks and the blades have some nicks as would be expected. Custom display stands are included.

Knife #1 - An exceptional knife from the Ngombe tribe. Nicely carved wooden hilt. The handle is partially wrapped in brass. The iron blade is engraved with complex designs. 24" long - SOLD

Knife #2 - A long curved sword from the Kuba Kingdom. The blade is etched with geometric designs. Also has an interesting feature; engraved on the blade is the name "V. Dunca". Almost certainly the name of a previous owner. 26" long - SOLD



Tikar Oil Lamp Tikar Oil Lamp — Cameroon

20th Century

Tikar pottery oil lamp from Cameroon. Footed base topped by a globular vessel. Around the upper portion are three seated figures, their arms locked together. They sit surrounding the neck of the vessel; at the top is a small hole to hold the wick. The oil lamp would have been filled through a larger hole on the side. Overall in good condition. Two of the heads have been reattached. The third head, which would have served as the stopper for the fill hole, is missing. A nice example of the type.

Approx. 6.5" tall x 4" across

$85


Baule Clay Oracle Baule Terracotta Oracle — Ivory Coast - Cote D'Ivoire

Mid-20th Century

Exceptionally rare pottery (terracotta clay) Baule mouse oracle from Cote D'Ivoire, Africa's Ivory Coast. Among the Baule divination plays an important role in determining their day to day activities, solving personal problems, indicating the causes of illness or simply providing comfort to face life's challenges. The Baule would commonly use a mouse to practice divination. A mouse is captured and brought to the diviner (shaman) and placed in the receptacle. The mouse promptly scurries down the small hole to the lower, hidden section of the oracle. The divination process involves food (wheat or other grains) which are placed into the main, upper section within the container. The diviner then places small sticks, bones or strips of brass in a careful arrangement. The diviner then covers the bowl (oracle) and leaves it for several hours. When he returns, the mouse has emerged and eaten the grain and moved the sticks. The diviner can then "read" the rearranged sticks. The Baule believe that mice were once able to speak, and now reveal their knowledge by communicating through the sticks or bones. Mouse divination is probably of Guro origin and is one of several divination techniques used by the Baule.

More commonly carved from wood, this example is an extremely rare pottery version. Beautifully decorated with heads typical of the Baule style, raised nodes and incised patterns along with two opposing knob handles. The matching lid, with similar decoration, has been restored. Otherwise in choice condition. Minor imperfections, consistent with age and use. Nice earthen encrustations. Shows signs of significant age and tribal use. Certainly not a tourist piece.

Ex. private N.C. collection.

Approx. 9" tall x 7" across

SOLD


Fon Bocios Mahongwe Reliquary — Gabon

20th Century

Very large Mahongwe reliquary Bwete (or Bwitti) guardian figure. Mahongwe reliquary figures typically have large oval-shaped tapering heads which are covered by brass bands or wires and are overall highly abstract in style. Figures like these were mounted on or by containers holding relics of important clan ancestors, serving as guardians. They are sometimes danced with by new chiefs and dedicated to Bwitti, the spirit of the ancestors. The Mahongwe are a subgroup of the Bakota, and like them, used these figures as guardians of their ancestors. This example is unusually large, over three feet tall, with small rarely seen stylized arms just below the neck. The upper portion is completely covered front and back in layers of thin hammered brass. The elongated neck is wrapped in rope. An impressive example with a nice aged patina. Displays dramatically!

Ex. private N.C. collection.

40" tall x 12" across

SOLD


Igbo Mask Igbo "Mmwo" Maiden-Spirit Mask — Nigeria, Africa

Early 20th Century, possibly late 19th Century

Exceptional example of an Igbo "Mmwo" mask. With a classic style face and soaring tripartite headdress, this large three-quarter type helmet mask shows superior craftsmanship as well as obvious signs of age and tribal use. Finely carved with exquisite detail, the face shows a serene expression. The elaborate hairdo is realistically executed, topped by a soaring superstructure of three large arches. The face is covered in the white pigment "kaolin". Other traces of green and orange pigment remains on the headdress. Generally in excellent condition for its age. A few very minor losses and a single old indigenous (resin type) repair on the left arch of the headdress. Overall among the best example of its type you'll ever see. Truly a museum quality item the likes of which are seldom seen in today's market.

The Igbo are a diverse culture, and their art reflect this. The early masks follow general stylistic guidelines, but later masks are found in a variety of sizes, colors, and uses. This particular mask is however a classic example of Igbo artistry. The mask is called "Agbogho Mmwo," or the "beautiful maiden." Topped by elaborate coiffures, these masks are said to represent the beauty and purity of deceased maidens. They were danced at yearly festivals called "Ude Agbogho," the festival of maidens, to honor past, prominent members of the village. The purpose of this annual masquerade, which is performed by males, is to portray the physical and moral attributes of the ideal female. Although the variety of specific details conveyed in Mmwo masks is virtually endless, the general form and artistic style displayed in this mask is faithful to early Igbo tradition.

Provenance: Ex. Hal Roach collection. Roach was a well known Hollywood producer and collector of fine, early African artifacts. Remembered for his vast contributions to early film and television production, such as the "Laurel and Hardy" movies and the "Our Gang, Little Rascals" shorts, Roach also worked closely with Walt Disney for many years. Hal Roach died in Nov. 1992. This mask and other pieces from his African art collection were recently sold off by his granddaughter, Mary Ellen.

Approx. 21" tall x 9" across

$2500


Fon Bocios Fon Bocio Figures — Benin, West Africa

20th Century

Group of 4 extremely rare, authentic Fon Bocio (Bochio, Boccio) figures. These are also known as VoDun Fetishes (Voodoo Dolls) and are used by practitioners to summon the spirits of Loa in order to conduct evil magic and incite vengeful harm. The figures are carved from wood and have small glass bottles (along with other items) tied to each figure with crude rope and covered with sacrificial fluids. The bottles retain their original contents; things like snake skins, small animal skulls, vegetation, seeds, bones, teeth, shells, powder, soil, feathers, etc. All but the smallest wears a necklace of red glass beads. All have been ritually used and are in fine condition for fetishes of this type. Objects such as these are seldom seen outside of select museums. Ex. Florida private collection.

4", 4.75", 6.25" and 9" tall

$2000 for group of four, not sold individually


Songye Mask Songye Mask — Democratic Republic of Congo

Early to Mid 20th Century

I am pleased to offer this rare and incredible Songye Kifwebe mask. Carved with linear designs and remains of black and white pigment, the mouth is square and protruding. The white color and low ridge crest indicates this mask is "female" in gender. Female masks are primarily white, forms are restrained and elegant with striated surfaces. Their function was to awaken and honor benevolent spirits. Holes for fiber attachments around the edges. The plant-fiber fringe is still attached along the bottom and appears to be completely original. Overall in excellent condition with expected (and very desirable) wear from extensive tribal use. Experienced collectors will appreciate the fine quality and age of this exceptional artifact. With wear patterns and perspiration staining in all the right places, this mask could easily be the centerpiece of any collection. By far the best mask of this type I've ever seen. It doesn't get any better than this. Please ask if you would like to see additional photographs of this superior example.

Mask is 16" tall (24" including attachments) x 8.5" across

SOLD


Marka Passport Mask Miniature Marka Mask — In & around Mali

20th Century

An unusual Marka miniature mask. Possibly a rarely seen example of a Marka passport mask. It is small in size, but retains all the characteristics of the full-sized examples. Nicely executed with overlays of brass and tin attached with small tacks, now rusted. Aged patina with moderate amounts of oxidation on the metal. One horn is chipped, but otherwise in fine condition. The Marka live in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso are neighbors of the Bamana. Today they are heavily Islamised, however they often retain the use of masks and figures for ceremonies and rituals closely related to the Bamana. Marka face masks have elongated features, long nose, protruding mouth, and eyes shadowed by a domed forehead decorated with carved horns. The masks, if made of wood, are typically covered with brass repoussee decorated with geometric patterns and red fiber tassels.

11" tall x 3.75" across

SOLD


Congo Fly Whisk Fly Whisk — DRC

Early to Mid - 20th Century

Spectacular royal fly whisk from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Beautifully carved hardwood handle depicting a kneeling female. She wears an intricately made collar necklace of aluminum wire. Original, natural horse-hair (?) still intact. The hair is connected to the handle with a decorative copper and aluminum wire wrap. Items of this quality were used only by kings and tribal leaders. Originally collected in the 1950s. Ex. collection of Marilyn Kaytor and Robert Ruark, NYC. Exceptionally rare artifact and in superior condition for its age. Some light oxidation on the copper wire, otherwise choice. Nicely displayed on a custom stand of wood & steel, included. Excellent provenance.

Approx. 25" total length

SOLD


Baule Mouse Oracle Baule Mouse Oracle — Ivory Coast

Early to Mid - 20th Century

A rare, authentic divination receptacle (mouse oracle) from the Baule people of the Ivory Coast, Africa. This is a magnificent, museum quality artifact. Not a tourist item. Beautifully carved, it has a rich patina and shows wear from ceremonial use. Some white pigment remains. Depicted is a seated male shaman figure with hands held to knees, he wears a long beard and elaborate headdress (hairdo). Traditional scarfication adorns the face and torso. Overall in excellent condition with one small (stable) stress crack at the base. No breaks or losses. The lid appears to be original to the piece. This item was purchased by the previous owner at a tribal arts fair in London in the early 1960's. Oracles of this age and quality are seldom seen in todays market. A superb example. A similar oracle with a good explanation of the divination process can be found in the book "Art and Oracle" by Alisa La Gamma.

Approx. 15" tall x 8" across

SOLD


Guro Elephant Mask Guro Bronze Elephant Mask — Ivory Coast

Early 20th Century

Exceptional Guro cast bronze elephant mask. An unusual example most likely not made by using the common lost wax technique, but rather the much older sand-cast method. Executed with exquisite detail and very heavily cast, this is certainly a museum quality piece, very rare. Purchased by its previous owner in Chicago from the well known "Primitive Art Works" gallery. The original ($1595) PAW price tag is still attached. Generally, in fine condition with a few small areas of green oxidation. Note: Both tusks have been reattached after being broken off during shipping, hence the greatly reduced price. Displays beautifully.

Approx. 9.5" tall x 4.5" across

SOLD


Lunda Figure Lunda Protective Figure — Zambia-Angola

Mid-20th Century, possibly earlier

Lunda protective figure from Northwestern Zambia - Eastern Angola. Objects such as this consist of carved figures inserted into gourds or clay pots into which a mixture of clay, vegetable matter and other unknown substances have been hardened. The fact that the figure has "charged" substances (ie. the red seeds) would give this object its protective power. Artifacts of this type were not used in divination rites, but were owned by the diviner as protection against harmful influences during the divination process. Well carved wooden figure with seeds attached with a resin type material. The pot is made from terracotta. Overall in excellent condition. Figure shows a nicely worn patina. Minor chips and dings on the clay pot. An incredible piece with signs of tribal use. Very rare and unique example.

9" tall x 4.25" across

SOLD


Fante Figure Fante Figure — Ghana

20th Century

Carved wood Fante (Fanti) female figure. With typical elongated square head, she stands with hands held to stomach and carries a child on her back. Nicely carved in fine detail with intricate patterns on the back of the head. Heavily adorned with strands of beads and cowry shells. An unusually large and beautifully executed example. In excellent condition showing no chips, cracks or breaks. Rare & choice.

Approx. 25" tall x 6" across

$850


Akan Bust Akan Ancestoral Bust — Ghana

20th Century

Fine Akan terracotta ancestral head. These well executed heads served as stylized funerary portraits and memorials for the Akan peoples of Ghana. In excellent condition with only minor chips missing from the ears. Reddish clay with some darker areas known as "fire clouding", a result of uneven temperatures in the wood-fired kilns. Displays beautifully.

Ex. V. Richards of Winston Salem, NC.

9" tall x 5.5" across

$175


Bura Head Bura Head Pot — Mali, West Africa

14th Century

Rare orange terracotta funerary vessel in the form of a human head. Raised eyes, lips and nose with curved ears. Hair is indicated by a stippled design. Hole in the top of the head as is common. Fine condition with only minor chips missing around base.

Approx. 5" x 5"

$650


Akan Head Large Akan Head — Ghana

17th-18th Century

Large convex disc shaped ancestoral head in buff-brown terracotta. Broken at the neck with other small chips missing from around the ears. The nose and lips have been reattached. Rare type and unusually large. Seldom seen. Nice example with deposits from burial. Custom display stand is included.

Ex. Frank Friedman Collection - Ex. Arte Primitivo.

Approx. 12" tall x 9" across

SOLD


Round Kifwebe Mask Luba "Kifwebe" Mask — Democratic Republic of Congo - DRC

20th Century

Older Luba wooden mask. Round face with linear incisions and remains of white paint, squared mouth. Good age with minor losses around the edges. Of the several different mask types used by the Luba, this type of bowl-shaped mask with parallel grooves was worn with a raffia costume and danced in male/female couples representing spirits (kijwebe) which connect this world with the spirit world. Used to mark important periods of social transition and transformation. Nice example with desirable wear and showing signs of tribal use.

9" tall

SOLD


Ife Bust Ife Bust — Nigeria

Late 20th Century

Large gray terracotta female bust. Obviously a modern reproduction modeled after originals found at the great Yoruba center at Ife dating to 1100-1450 A.D. This clay head is of an Oni, the ruler at Ife, who still holds power over the Yoruba people at Ife today. A nice decorative piece in excellent condition.

Just over 16" tall

$225


Mali Pot Large Terracotta Vessel — Mali

20th Century, possibly earlier

Fine reddish clay bottle with bands of decoration around the neck. Nice example, showing signs of tribal usage. Minor chips missing, otherwise choice.

Approx. 10" tall x 6"

$200


Auction Catalogs - African and Tribal Art

Serious collectors know the importance of good reference material and old auction catalogs are always desirable. Packed with photos, dates and descriptions, they offer a wide range of information as well as pricing estimates. Below is a collection of catalogs dating from the late 1980's to the mid-1990's. Priced individually or as a group. Buyer pays all shipping costs. NOTE: These catalogs are in very good to excellent condition.


catalogs Sotheby's Tribal Art Catalogs

Sotheby's London, June 1987
Sotheby's London, Nov. 1987
Sotheby's NY, Nov. 1987
Sotheby's NY, May 1988
Sotheby's London, July 1988
Sotheby's NY, Nov. 1988
Sotheby's NY, May 1989
Sotheby's NY, Nov. 1989
Sotheby's London, July 1989
Sotheby's London, Mar. 1990
Sotheby's NY, Nov. 1990
Sotheby's London, July 1990
Sotheby's London, June 1991
Sotheby's NY, Nov. 1991
Sotheby's London, Dec. 1992
Sotheby's NY, Nov. 1992
Sotheby's NY, May 1993
Sotheby's NY, May 1994


8.25" x 10.5"

SOLD


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