Lot: 122

Sitting male figure

Côte d'Ivoire, Baule

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Karl-Ferdinand Schädler, Munich, Germany
Lucien van de Velde, Antwerp, Belgium (2000)
Victor van Craen, Brussels, Belgium
Artcurial, Paris, 22 June 2015, Lot 19
Pivate Belgian Collection
H: 19.3 inch 11000 EUR / 20000 EUR

wood, rich slightly sticky patina, plant fibre, base Particularly beautiful figure with balanced harmonious body shapes and eye-catching asymmetrical hairstyle. The face bears scarification marks on cheeks and forehead and a beard made of plant fibre. A hole cut between the figure and the seat permits a real loincloth to be put on it. The sculpture is described as "asye usu's stool", because the spirit uses it as a resting point. Such works represent idealized male or female figures in their prime, which the "asye usu" consider desirable forms to inhabit." Artists commissioned with the creation of sculptures used in divination had to follow closely the instructions of the diviners "komien" who might have been told certain details about the figure's required physical appearance, posture, scarification marks, jewelry and hairstyle by the "asye usu" bush spirit itself, often during a dream. The "level of artistry" directly affected their owner's ability to prophesize by seducing nature spirits and inducing them to divulge insights into the human condition." S. Vogel noted: "The largest, oldest and most elaborate Baule figure sculptures are made as the loci for gods and spirits that possess their human partners and send messages through them in trance state."


Vogel, Susan Mullin, Baule, African Art - Western Eyes, New York 1997
Schädler, Karl-Ferdinand, Götter - Geister - Ahnen, Ergänzungskatalog, Vienna 1994, fig. 226
Exhibited:

Vienna, Austria: "Götter - Geister - Ahnen", Neue Hofburg, 23 March - 24 July 1994; Paris, France: Parcours des Mondes, 7-11 September 2011

YALE: 0057577

ADHRC: 0058463