Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    BAMANA HAND FORGED IRON STAFF
    (MALI, WESTERN AFRICA)

    The use of forged iron staffs made by blacksmiths is a very old tradition perhaps dating back to the 13th century among the Bamana and other Mande-speaking peoples. Staffs are admired as tangible proof of a blacksmith's great skill and revered for the power they embody.

    The Bamana iron staff typically has a long shaft with one or more piercings whose edges are split and flattened. The shaft supports a very elongated male or female figure whose arms, held well away from the torso, end in greatly enlarged hands. There is little facial detail. An upright spear blade may rise above the figure, as here.

    Although the meanings of these iron staffs are gradually being lost, there is still consensus that their figures represent ancestors or beings from creation myths, while spear blades are protective. Staffs are owned by individuals, families or associations. They may be family symbols of chiefs, displayed in front of the entrance to a chief's house for offerings made to the ancestors. They may also appear at dances to receive offerings that increase their protective power or augment the inherent power of forged iron. Staffs may sometimes be used for the protection of an entire community, placed in the crowns of trees or buried to exert unseen and pervasive protective power.

    Height: approximately 50 inches


    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.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information.

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2015
    15th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 439

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 June 25 Ethnographic Art American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    From the preview party to the last lot to go under the hammer, everything was done in a remarkably professional manner.
    Richard de Thuin,
    Waldoboro, ME
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2018 October 12 Illustration Art - Dallas
    2018 October 12 Illustration Art - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,745,893