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    Description

    Baule (Côte d'Ivoire, Western Africa)
    Blolo bian (spirit wife) female figure
    Wood and cloth
    Height: 16-1/2 inches

    Baule carved figures fall into two categories, spirit lovers or nature lovers. The forms and styles of both figure categories are the same. The only way to determine which category a figure belongs to is the condition of the surface and the presence or absences of sacrificial substances. Individuals with marital or fertility problems may be advised by a diviner to acquire a wooden image representing the husband or wife that everyone has in the other world. These spirit mates may sometimes interfere maliciously with their earthly counterparts, and the wooden figures provide a means of contact through which the spirit spouses can be appeased. The figures are fondled, rubbed and cared for tenderly. They are even "slept" with periodically. Such treatment results in a clean, lustrous surface as evidenced with this blolo bian, or spirit wife figure.

    This attractive figure falls within the range of Baule carving styles. The facial features, the somewhat tense body posture with a crouching stance and arms kept tightly to the torso, are typical. The hair probably has been blackened with a scorching technique with a red hot poker. An open crack extends through the back of the figure, but is not visible on the front side.


    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
    May, 2014
    16th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 458

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