Lot: 308

93rd Tribal Art Auction

Very rare standing female figure

D. R. Congo, Salampasu

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Jean-Pierre Jernander, Brussels, Belgium (1984)
Gerald Dannenberg, New York, USA
H: 66.1 inch 10000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, red and black pigment, kaolin, base This figure was originally worked on a plank, of which remains are still visible on the reverse. Four such wooden planks formed the boundary of stage-like platforms, which were erected on up to one-metre high posts. Each of the planks was figurally carved or decorated with mask heads. These "stages" were used to perform ritual dances, especially by the "matambu" men’s society. The initiates dancing on the platform were thus highlighted and separated from the other participants of the ceremonies. The plank was part of an ensemble and was thus included in the exhibition "Sets, Series and Ensembles", which was shown in 1985 in the “Center for African Art” in New York. When Dannenberg was asked to loan the object, Susan Vogel wrote: "As a collector I know how difficult it is to part with a piece of this importance for such a long period, but I hope the satisfaction of seing the piece exhibited in the company of other superlative artworks will be some compensation". A comparable female figure worked on a plank from the collections of the Afrika Museum Berg en Dal, illustrated by Grootaers, (2002/ Vol. I), p. 548.

Grootaers, Jan-Lodewijk & Ineke Eisenburger (ed.), Forms of Wonderment, Vol. II, Berg en Dal 2002
Preston, George Nelson, "Sets, Series & Ensembles in African Art", The Center for African Art, New York, 1985, p. 67, ill. 66 Exhibited:

New York, The Center for African Art: "Sets, Series & Ensembles in African Art", July 17- October 27, 1985