Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A FINE AND RARE IBO MALE FIGURE
Christie's charges a Buyer's premium calculated at… Read more
A FINE AND RARE IBO MALE FIGURE

PROBABLY FROM A MEN'S MEETING HOUSE, OBU, IN ABIRIBA

Details
A FINE AND RARE IBO MALE FIGURE
Probably from a men's meeting house, obu, in Abiriba
Standing with the arms carved free of the body, the right hand held forward at the waist, the left slightly behind the well rounded torso, with massive shoulders and pectoral muscles, the spherical head with well carved features, keloid scarification at the temples, painted yellow, orange, white and black
115cm. high
Provenance
René and Odette Delenne, Brussels
Literature
Leuzinger, E., Die Kunst von Schwarz-Afrika, Zurich, 1970, no.M42
Exhibited
Die Kunst von Schwarz-Afrika, Zurich, 1970, no.M42 (as a female figure)
Special Notice

Christie's charges a Buyer's premium calculated at 23.205% of the hammer price for each lot with a value up to €110,000. If the hammer price of a lot exceeds €110,000 then the premium for the lot is calculated at 23.205% of the first €110,000 plus 11.9% of any amount in excess of €110,000. Buyer's Premium is calculated on this basis for each lot individually.

Lot Essay

Large figural carvings were made by the Ibo for their men's houses of which one in Asaga Ohafia is illustrated by Cole (H.M., & Aniakor, C.C., Igbo Arts Community & Cosmos, UCLA, 1984, p.98, Pl.19). Called obu nkwa 'house of images' it was designated a national monument in the 1950s by K.C. Murray and thus spared the ravages of the Biafran war.
A maternity figure by the same hand as the present figure was collected from a men's house at Obubra on the Cross River (Leuzinger, op.cit., p.188,no.M1) but the exact names of the figures are not recorded. The rounded forms of both sculptures reflect the influence of their easterly neighbours, the Ibibio. Cole (op.cit.p.8) describing the background to such carvings writes: 'Public cults addressing tutelary deities (agbara/alusi) or legendary founders of a community were corporate patrons with custodianship of wooden and/or clay figural sculptures ... they also sponsored annual festivals....In the community men's houses groups of architecturally integrated sculptures and paintings were found, especially in Abiriba and Ohafia.'
;

More from TRIBAL ART FROM THE ESTATE OF THE LATE BARON FREDDY ROLIN

View All
View All