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    Babanki (Cameroon)
    Lintel from a Palace Building
    Hardwood, patina
    Lengh: 113 ¼ inches Width: 7 inches Depth: 7 ¾ inches

    The architectural function as a lintel has dictated the long rectangle format, with motifs set with high ridges on the long sides. The following motifs are seen in very high relief: elephant heads (or masks), bush buffalo heads (or masks), human figures, snakes, and spiders.

    Tamara Northern has defined the motifs in royal contexts. "The elephant, renowned for might and majesty, also offers qualities for royal adoption. It is good to think with in a hierarchical context. Kings are referred to and addressed as 'elephants' and 'elephant hunters' - honorifics - in speech and recitations" (Tamara Northern. The Art of Cameroon. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services, 1984, p.46). "The buffalo is a royal referent animal whose metaphoric articulation does not have parity in the cultural matrix with that of the leopard and the elephant. As another large game animal, its massive physique recommends association with power" (Northern, loc. cit.).

    "The two animal icons most ubiquitous in prestige are the spider and the frog or toad. The earth spider serves as the divination animal throughout the Grassfields and its perimeters...(Due to various of its behavioral habits) the spider has...been interpreted as an animal of wisdom" (Northern op. cit., p.49).

    A very old piece, this lintel has a fine patina

    Provenance: Collection of Irène Drivet
    H. Bruce Greene II and family, Naples, Florida

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 536

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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