Lot: 121

Reliquary guardian figure "mbulu-ngulu" ("spirit of a deceased")

Gabon, Kota, Ndassa

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
René (1920-1981) and Mercedes Lavigne, Geneva, Switzerland
Christie's, South Kensington, 24 March 1988, Lot 178
Edmondo Trombetta, Monza, Italy
H: 21.3 inch 5000 EUR / 10000 EUR

wood, copper alloy (brass, bronze), base The reliquiary figures from Gabon are creations that have particularly appealed to lovers of African and modern art from the moment it was "discovered" in the early 20th century. Although their appearance differs greatly from those of the Kota and Mahongwe groups to the "byeri" figures of the Fang groups, they had all the same function as conceptual "tombstones" and "mobile" cemetaries. They were generally attached to baskets or round boxes of bark in which relics such as fragments of the skull, bones, and other mementos of the honoured deceased were placed.

ADHRC: 0047275