**Originally Listed At $750**
Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), Kongo or Kuba peoples, ca. early 20th century CE. A hand-carved bone staff (probably from a buffalo), in the form of a leopard crouching on a flat staff. The leopard's body is decorated with lightly incised dots, giving the animal its characteristic spots; its body is long and low, its large head hanging down over the edge of the staff. Size: 2" L x 1.75" W (5.1 cm x 4.4 cm); 3.25" H (8.3 cm) on included custom stand.
The Kongo and the Kuba live in the savanna region and both were once powerful kingdoms. Artisans in these cultures created artwork specifically to honor royalty. The leopard, as a powerful and fierce animal, was also associated with the monarch - the king wore a leopard skin mask.
Provenance: late Allen Davis collection, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA; purchased from Economos Works of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, in 2003
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