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    Description

    Vili (Democratic Republic of Congo, Loango region)
    Rectangular Sculpture with Six Figures
    Ivory
    Height: 2 ¾ inches; Width: 1 ¾ inches; Depth: 1 inch

    From the mid-nineteenth century through the first two decades of the twentieth, the coastal Vili of the Loango region made thousands of skillfully carved ivory sculptures for sale to Europeans. Some were small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, or a sailor's pocket, as is this example. Others covered an entire tusk with a spiraling procession of small figures. Most, as seen here, are surprisingly well carved and project a somewhat whimsical take on the subject, whether it is encounters between Europeans and "natives" as seen on the two broader surfaces, or Africans, sometimes, as here, in puzzling roles. Is the suddenly modest figure a satire on European attitudes toward nakedness, newly missionary-instilled? Is the other naked figure dropping off a wall in hopes of escaping enslavement? Age cracks are visible overall, with one small chip missing at the base toward the rear of the woman's long skirt.

    Provenance:

    Skinner,Boston: sale 2209, lot 93
    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. 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: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,346

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