A round wood mask with oval shaped eyes outlined in blue pigment Democratic Republic of the Congo, Teke. Late 19th to early 20th century.
Provenance: Inventory and Collection from the Estate of Merton D. Simpson.
Simpson inventory #9211. ex Riviere collection asking price $50,000 Published in Afrique Noire issue 124 , 2002 p. 15 fig 2 comparing this mask to the example from the Barbier collection. Publishd Yale African art Van Rijn archive # 0040660-01. See Sothebys Paris June 18, 2014 Lot 66 a Teke mask sold for 36,250 euros. Catalog Notes: "According to Cornet (1978: p. 96), "Flat masks are for the most part strictly confined to the Tsai group of the Teke tribe and portray an abstractly interpreted human face. They are used by the members of the Kidumu society. The facial features, eyes, nose, and mouth, are only minor elements in a decorative whole accentuated by polychrome. At the same time, the design is a composition of symbols. The headdress ranges from simple to elaborate costumes of woven fiber and cloth, trimmed with feathers and fringes of raffia." Cornet, 1978. Examining the back, holes, and surface of this mask suggest, unlike the large numbers seen in the literature and on the market, that this mask has been used traditionally.