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Post Lot Text
Here we have a timeless sculpture of a woman which recalls at the same time ancient imagery - the Venus of Villendorf with her voluptuous femininity, the Guennol Lionness in her muscular, compact and twisted body. And Modern imagery - though made of wood, the patina developed over time the feeling of bronze and in both surface and formal abstraction recalls the sculptures of Picasso, Matisse or Henry Moore.
Fully three-dimensional carvings are rare among the Abelam. The more typical forms of Abelam sculpture are plaque-like carvings or sculptures in relief which were meant to lean against the wall. Most likely, this female spirit figure, kutagwa, which has a hole at the back, was suspended under the eaves of the spirit house along with birds and other symbolic emblems (Friede, 2005, 131). See Burland, 1973, plate 76 for another small female figure formerly in the Philip Goldman, London.