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Lot 0157B
Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lega peoples, ca. early 20th century CE. A hand-carved wooden figurine used for ceremonial performances in order to teach moral values consistent with ideals held by those in the Bwami Society. The figure is composed of a tapering conical body with delineated arms, a narrow neck, and a spherical head, all atop an integral hemispherical plinth as well as an egg-shaped base with several filed slits for attaching to a headdress as an ornamental finial. The compressed face features concentric circle eyes, a slit-form mouth, and smooth peripheries, and lustrous red-brown patina enshrouds the entire carving. Size: 1.5" W x 4.6" H (3.8 cm x 11.7 cm).

Provenance: ex-Zemanek-Munster Tribal Art Auction (auction #303, part of lot 6788); collected in the 1960s by Andre Navez in Kivu province

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Minor abrasions to base, body, and head, with a couple of stable hairline fissures, otherwise intact and very good. Fabulous patina throughout. Old inventory label beneath base.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

Early 20th C. African Lega Wood Bwami Figure

Estimate $1,500 - $2,000May 23, 2019