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    Description

    FANTE, Ghana
    Staff or Scepter

    Wood, pigments, metal

    The figure on this short staff or scepter is that of a shrine priest dressed in the traditional short raffia fiber kilt. He raises a protective shrine sword in his right hand and holds a large sacrificial egg in the left. On top of his head, two birds of unknown but perhaps proverbial meaning sit on a small platform. Among the ornaments worn around his neck is the image of a padlock, which may refer to power and secrecy. The horned shape beneath his feet is perhaps a representation of a sacrificial animal head. Both sides of the squared base bear a relief-carved inscription in the Fante dialect of Twi, the Akan language of Ghana; it mentions a priest and may be a proverb.

    There is much evidence of age and use. The figure has probably been repainted, and many parts have been mended locally with metal staples, as is especially clear on the wrists and on the platform supporting the two birds. In addition, a wire now connects both arms, as if to strengthen them. A metal shoe protects the bottom of the staff, which may once have been socketed into an additional piece, making the existing carving the head of a figurative staff in keeping with more common Fante and Asante use, rather than the scepter it now appears to be.

    Provenance:
    The Robert V. Berg Collection

    Read more about the Robert V. Berg Collection here.



    Height: 22 ½ inches


    Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000.

    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: 333

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