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    Description

    Obamba / Mindumu (?) (A Kota People)(Gabon)
    Reliquary Guardian (Mbulu Ngulu)
    Wood, brass, copper, steel
    Height: 23 ¾ inches Width: 12 1/8 inches

    Early travelers' illustrated accounts show reliquary guardians placed atop baskets containing skulls and bones of clan ancestors. These reliquaries (bwete or mboy) were placed on raised platforms in special houses kept darkened to instill proper respect and meditation. These rigorously stylized images served as a symbolic representation of the ancestors and were guardians with strong magical potency.
    This example fits Category IV of A. and F. Chaffin's morphological classification, "...the classic Kota style which seems to originate in the Franceville region" (Louis Perrois. Ancestral Art of Gabon from the Collection of the Barbier-Mueller Museum. Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1986, p.46). Platings of brass and copper, attached with steel staples, are enhanced with chased patterning. The back retains the bare wood. This metal sheathing shows age cracks and is lifting at some jointure areas, most noticeably along the top of the arch. The main face's back shows slightly-etched stains in the wood at the proper left.

    Provenance:
    Christies Paris, sale 5068, Lot 305
    Gary Hendershott, Little Rock



    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: 1,735

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