David Malik.UK

 

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PUNU (1)

Punu Mukudj Mask
In the Punu communities of southern Gabon, mukudj masks are considered portraits of an exceptionally beautiful female member. The coiffure, featuring a prominent sagittal lobe flanked by two lateral tresses, is a classic style of dressing women’s hair practiced throughout the region during the nineteenth century. Lozenge cicatrization markings were incised on the forehead and temples of Punu women as a form of aesthetic embellishment and a sign of sensuality. Classic mukudj masks often emphasize a subdivision of the motif into nine units, which is significant in light of the fact that, among the Punu, nine is considered a mystically powerful number and a catalyst in the healing process. In mukudj mask representations, the prominence of the number nine make reference to the mystical powers commanded by the dancer. It is those powers that are believed to provide him with the talent and protection necessary to perform. The stylized rendering of the eyes, represented as closed slits, evokes a meditative serenity while at the same time affording the wearer an unobstructed view of the performance arena he must negotiate.
Provenance:
– Ladislas Segy Gallery, New York, USA
– Zemanek Munster, Wurzburg, Germany
– Renaud Riley, Brussels, Belgium
ARTHKADE number RYN-073293
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Male Statuette attributed to the Tabwa (Tumbwe)
The ovoid head with almond-shaped eyes, straight nose and protruding oval mouth is characterised above all by a headdress finely decorated with network of parallel ridges at the nape of the neck and bands of alternating triangles separated by two circular lines. The top of the head is sliced off horizontally revealing a large hole which may have contained sacrificial or magical substances. A dark blue bead necklace is tied around its powerful neck. The body and buttocks seem to carved in a single piece. The arms pressed against the body are drawn back slightly. There is a hole in the upper arms, probably to take a cord so that the sacred power figure could be carried. The lower part of the body may have been covered with a loincloth. The straight penis is a sign of fertility and the legs disappear into a circular convex base.
Collected in situ around 1925 by Edouard d’Orjo de Marchovelette
Exhibited at Brussels World Fair in 1958
Published:
– Neyt, F, and Dubois, H., 2013, African Fetishes and Ancestral Objects, 5 Continents Edition: Milan
Provenance:
– Edouard d’Orjo de Marchovelette and inherited by his family
– Didier Claes, Brussels, Belgium
– Richard Carchon, Paris & Brussels, France & Belgium
– Serge Schoffel, Brussels, Belgium
Literature:
– Roberts, A.F. and Maurer, E.M., 1985, T A B W A: The Rising of a New Moon : A Century of Tabwa Art, Univ of Washington Press
– Roberts, M.N. and Roberts, A.F., 1996, Memory: Luba Art and the Making of History, Prestel Publishing
– Neyt, F, and Dubois, H., 2013, African Fetishes and Ancestral Objects, 5 Continents Edition: Milan
– Petridis , C., 2008, Art and Power in the Central African Savanna, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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Songye Power Figure Nkisi
Rising from short flexed legs and stylised feet integral to the circular base, the rectangular torso with arms carved free of the sides, and handhelds to the slightly distended cowrie0set abdomen, the cylindrical neck supporting a large head, the face covered with punched copper sheets,, below a fringe of iron spearheads, surmounted with a horn and plaited fibre tresses falling to the sides, the head and torso applied with animal and reptile skin respectively, the neck with beaded necklaces, the hips wrapped in hessian and hung with goat’s horns.
Provenance:
– Old English collection
– J. J. Klejman, New York, USA (1973)
– Bonhams, Knightsbridge, UK
– Private collection, London, UK
Published:
– Bonhams, Knightsbridge, 21st June, 2000 (lot 30)
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Superb Lwena Staff
Angola or Zambia
Standing on top of the cylindrical shaft, the female figure with hands resting on the abdomen and wearing typical coiffure; ‘FE8633’ in white pigment at the bottom of the staff; exceptionally fine lustrous gold brown patina.
Roy (1997: 352,  text to fig. 80) notes: “This is one of the most beautifully carved staffs from any of the Chokwe and related peoples in any collection. […] The figure represents neither a female relative nor an ancestor, but a mahamba, or protective spirit responsible for the spiritual and physical well-being of the subject of the chief or king who owned the staff.” See Bastin (1994: 145, fig. 168) for a closely related staff from the Museu Nacional de Etnologia, Lisbon (accession no. ‘AO-332’).
Provenance:
– Marc Leo Felix, Brussels, Belgium
– Fred Jahn, Munich, Germany
– Walter and Molly Bareiss, Munich / New York, Germany / USA
– Sotheby’s New York, USA
– Leslie Sacks collection, New York, USA
– Native, Brussels, Belgium
Published:
– Roy, Christopher D.Kilengi: African Art from the Bareiss family Collection, Seattle, 1997 pp.145 and 352, g.80
– Kilengi, Afrikanische Kunst aus der Sammlung Bareiss, Hannover 1997, p.149 and 356, g. 80
– Sotheby’s New York, AFRICAN, OCEANIC AND PRE-COLUMBIAN ART
 16 MAY 2008, lot 163
– African Art, from the Leslie Sacks Collection, Refined Eye Passionate Heart, Skira 2013, p.52
Exhibited:
– Kilengi: African Art from the Bareiss Family Collection, Iowa City, The University of Iowa Museum of Art, 27 March-23 May 1999
– Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover 30 August-19 October 1997
– MAK- Österreichisches Museum Für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, 12 November 1997 – 18 January 1998
– Städtische Galerie Im Lenbachaus, Munich 8 April-5 July 1998
– The University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, 27 March- 23 May 1999
– Neuberger Museum of Art, State University of New York, Purchase, 26 September 1999-10 January 2000
ARTHKADE number: KLN-099204

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