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    Description

    Guro (Côte d'Ivoire, Western Africa)
    Face mask
    Wood and pigment
    Height: 14-3/4 inches

    PROVENANCE:
    Collection of Benjamin D. Bernstein, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, acquired May 1998.

    Guro wood carvings are considered to be among the most elegant of African sculpture styles. While sharing artistic features with the Baule, their neighbors, the Guro output is distinctive. Face masks are naturalistic with elongated features. They are concave in silhouette and refined in details. In this classic example, some of the refinement is found in the linear incisings on the eyebrows and coiffure. A shiny black surface enhances this aura of elegance. A decorative finial atop the mask, the relatively small ears and pouting mouth are typical of Guro masks.

    In the past and in some areas today, masks are thought to embody spiritual forces, and were performed during funerals and initiation of youths into adulthood. Today, Guro masquerades have taken on largely entertainment roles for locals as well as visitors.

    The surface patina, wear pattern, and presence of side holes indicate an authentic mask of fine quality.

    PROVENANCE:
    Benjamin Bernstein collection, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


    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: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 765

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