Bembe people, Republic of Congo
Late 19th to early 20th Century
I found this superb Bembe figure sitting on the basket containing the relics of its ancestors in a Spanish collection and could trace it back to a Loudmer sale from 1991 (Loudmer, Paris, "Arts Primitifs", 21 avril 1991, lot 198)
This work is from a known hand who produced mainly seated Bembes with this very specific body position, type of hands, face, hat, as well as what seems to be beads for the eyes but which are, upon close examination, bone...
Among this handful of other known works, one is at the Quai Branly Museum and entered the Museum collection before 1934 (71.1934.82.28). So I am confortable placing this work at least in the early 20th century.
Another remarkable detail on this work is that the magical charge (situated here under the box) is still present and intact!
From a sculptural point of view, the composition is stunning and the surface is superb. More importantly, it perfectly conveys the idea of its purpose: It's alert, stable, strong and confident.
What better lineage guardian can you get?
H: 14,5 cm (5 3/4 inches)
Price : On application enquiry