Lot: 243

83rd Tribal Art Auction

Sculpture of a chicken, 19th century

Nigeria, Benin

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
H: 13 inch 900 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, brown patina, traces of red pigment, voluminous body with small head, wings and tail feathers marked by incisions, pointed spike in the middle of its back, dam., insect caused missing parts (base, right foot), mount;
wooden chickens were placed on the altars of the mothers of the male heads of large families of higher rank. They were placed on the altars of Queen Mothers as well, were they were arranged aside cocks from bronze. The pointed spike at the back served for mortising elephant-tusk-like carvings or real elephant tusks. Hens symbolize motherly care and love.