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    Description

    AKAN (ASANTE or FANTE), Ghana
    Stool

    Wood, pigment

    Abstract support designs on Akan stools symbolize aspects of social relationships, politics or historical events. A "two-story," or "double-decker" stool showing one stool on top of another, all carved from one piece of fine-grained wood, is an old device, documented nearly a century ago. It is named "Obi-te-obi-so" ("Someone sits on someone else" in life). This is the recognition of the fact that not all social positions are of equal power and that there is a proper order of seniority not only for citizens, but also among leaders. An order of precedence must be observed so that society can function well.

    In the present example, the support of the bottom stool is an X-shape once used by leaders. A rifle carved in relief on one side of the rectangular base underscores the power of the chief. The support of the upper stool rests firmly upon a large catfish carved in relief on its base. A proverb "Whatever the catfish eats is to the good of its master, the crocodile" expresses the idea of a hierarchy of power, and so the message of this stool is that no matter what one's social standing, one is called upon to cooperate with others for the good of everyone.

    Provenance:
    The Robert V. Berg Collection

    Read more about the Robert V. Berg Collection here.



    Length: 23 inches








    Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500.

    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
    July, 2016
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 346

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