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    Ibo (Nigeria)
    Female Mask
    Wood, pigment
    Height: 10 ¼ inches Width: 7 3/8 inches Depth: 3 ¾ inches

    In southeastern Nigeria the folly of Western expectations of neat stylistic categories which correlate with peoples of linguistic groups is brought fully into focus. In an old article which brilliantly demonstrates the region's layered complexity of ways of producing art to embody cultural needs and meaning, G. I. Jones illustrates a mask strikingly similar to the present example (G.I.Jones. "Sculpture of the Umualtia Area of Nigeria, "African Arts, vol.VI, no.4, Summer 1973, p.59, fig.3). The illustrated mask is captioned: "Female Mask from Lughulu Maskerade of Ugwueke Village. Alayi Tribe, Isu-Item Ibo". He has two references to this mask in his text, the first reading: "In the Isu-Item maskerade, the beautiful female masks are carved in either a rounded (Fig.3) or naturalistic mode ..." (op.cit. p.61). The second mention reads: "... one finds associated with the (local) maskerade particular types of masks which are so different that they cannot be grouped together stylistically. In the Isu-Item Lughulu maskerade, some of the masks which represent beautiful female spirits can be said to be in the Lower Niger (Ibo) style, and some have borrowed heavily from the Kwa Ibo (Fig.3)" (op.cit., p.62). The mask Jones illustrates almost certainly dates from before World War II.
    The front of the mask is in very good condition except for the abrasion of the vertical central forehead cicatrice. On the back there are very old insect and use losses around the face and in the central headdress area.

    Provenance: Belgian collection
    James Willis, San Francisco

    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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. 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: 699

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

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