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    Description

    Zulu (South Africa)
    Four Staffs
    1. Wood
    Height: 39 ¼ inches Width: 1 ¾ inches
    2. Wood
    Height: 40 ¾ inches Width: 3 inches
    3. Wood, brass wire, steel tip
    Height: 40 ¾ inches Width: 1 ½ inches
    4. Wood
    Height: 43 ¼ inches Width: 1 ¾ inches

    Staffs of fine wood with sculptural adornment "would have been carried by nyangas or sangomas, the ritual healers in the society, and were purported to be divining rods. Whether this was indeed the case is difficult to tell. . . . the ritual healers . . . were (and are) the custodians of ancestral knowledge, and today, of information that has passed out of common knowledge" (Karel Nel in Sandra Klopper and Karel Nel. The Art of Southeast Africa from the Conru Collection. Milan: 5 Continents, 2002, p. 31). The figure on staff number 1 has a close stylistic kinship with a notable staff finial of a mother and child attributed as "probably Tsonga" (Ibid., p. 58, no. 5). The second staff shows two serpents twined around the shaft with their upward-facing heads near a knobbed finial. The third combines braided metal wrapping with a series of knobs at top. The fourth is topped by a satirical portrait of a seated, mustached European in tail coat who plays a concertina. Conditions of the staffs vary.

    Provenance: Gary Hendershott, Little Rock
    Nos. 1 & 2: Sotheby's Paris, Sale PF 3015, 5 Décembre 2003, p. 157,Lot 205 a & b
    Nos. 1 & 2:Peter Schnell
    No. 1: Sydney Michael, London, 1957
    No. 2: H. F. North, London, 1957
    Nos. 3 & 4: Sotheby's Paris, Sale PF 3015, 5 Décembre 2003, p. 23, Lot 32 a & c



    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: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,216

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