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    Description

    Baule (Côte d'Ivoire, Western Africa)
    Male figure
    Wood
    Height: 39 inches

    This large and well carved image is an excellent example of what can be termed a "presentation piece." Such objects were commissioned from a master carver and intended as gifts, to be presented to an important local personage, such as a traditional chief or local African governmental official. Alternatively, such a sculpture could be gifted to a foreign, possibly French, dignitary.

    This large sculpture features a dignified male with prominent braided beard, elaborate coiffure and abundant torso scarification. Much attention has been directed to the fine execution of details. This carving precision is of course typical of Baule carvers, whose nuanced works are among the finest from sub-Saharan Africa. It is particularly impressive to find such quality in a large, massive carving like this one; typically larger African figures lack refinement of their smaller counterparts. The condition is very good, except that the end of the back braid extension, which would have balanced the extended beard in the front, has broken off exposing fresh wood. Furthermore, this carving evidences considerable distress and weathering of the base, indicating a long period of exposure to the elements in the owner's home or place of public interaction.

    This type of large figure was intended to possess powerful dramatic presence and confer prestige upon its owner, attributes which would certainly be enjoyed by a collector today.

    Provenance: Dr. Wally Zollman,
    Indianapolis, Indiana


    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: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 448

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