Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0484
**Originally Listed At $600**

West Africa, Sierra Leone, Temne people, ca. mid 20th century CE. Animalia and womankind join forces on this ornate, hand-carved and colorfully painted wood festival headpiece with Hindu-inspired decoration, detachable wings, fanciful detachable zoomorphic/anthropomorphic devices, and horns. The composition is comprised of a woman's head surmounted by a winged-horned animal-like creature, as well as zoomorphic/anthropomorphic detachable figures emerging from the woman's stylized coiffure - all making for a very dramatic contrast. The woman's visage presents a determined expression with bold features and a bindi dot (to protect against evil) painted between her almond-shaped fully lashed and browed eyes. This elaborate carving was created for masquerade celebrations by the Ode-Lay society. Size: 40" H (101.6 cm) including horns

A description of an Ode-Lay mask in the Brooklyn Museum collection reads in part, "Ode-lay is a uniquely urban form of masquerade that developed in Sierra Leone’s capital city of Freetown. This mask likely has its origins in the 1960s or ‘70s, when new genres of film, particularly those from or about Asia, inspired novel mask creations . . ." (https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/211653)

Compare with similar examples in: Masks from West and Central Africa: A Celebration of Color and Form (Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2013).

Provenance: private Dr. Paul and Mary Rosen collection

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.



Missing two attachments. Losses to base, but still stable. Surface wear with minor paint losses, age cracks, and minor nicks here and there. Old label says that the piece has been repainted many times, probably to refresh for use in masquerades. Red textile around neck in good condition.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

African Temne Painted Wood Ode-Lay Society Head Crest

Estimate $900 - $1,350Apr 30, 2018
Louisville, CO, USA