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    Description

    Bamum (Cameroon)
    Royal Door
    Wood, pigment
    Height: 59 inches Width: 26 inches

    This richly embellished royal door, though slightly damaged, has a complex program of relief sculpture, dominated by double-headed circular snakes that frame the rectangle and divide the door into three sections. At the very top is a frieze of four heads, with a crossed device in the center. The three center panels have subdivided rectilinear patterns within. In Bamum, the double-headed serpent is the highest ranking royal symbol. "Some ethnographic evidence cited recently by Geary (in The Idiom of War in the Bamum Court Arts) explains an identification of King with serpent through a legendary reference to the charismatic warrior king, Mbuembue, who ruled in the early nineteenth century: 'Like a serpent with two heads, he was able to strike on two military fronts simultaneously, that is, conquer the enemy. This explanation postulates that the double-headed serpent is an allusion to the King's strength and guile and does not correspond to a real animal, such as the python or boa" (Tamara Northern. The Art of Cameroon. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services, 1984, p.46). The entire surface is heavily weathered; the losses are clearly visible in the photograph.

    Provenance: H. Bruce Greene II and family, Naples, Florida



    Estimate: $20,000 - $24,000.

    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.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 658

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