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La dimension exacte de ce lot est:
Hauteur: 9 cm. (3¾ in.)
The exact dimension of this lot is:
Height: 9 cm. (3¾ in.)
Post Lot Text
Viewed from a photograph, one might believe this head is life-size, and in this regard it beautifully demonstrates the ideal of a monumental miniature through its distillation of the features. Though highly stylized, it strikes a dynamic balance of abstraction and naturalism. The close-set eyes have a pensive quality, and coupled with the parted lips, which show the tongue, it is a serious and captivating depiction of a man in the act of speaking. The artist has a highly refined sense of line which carefully guides the viewer over the spherical plane - from the line emanating from the nose leading to the well-formed ear with pear-shaped helix and dotted tragus with the whole tied together by the medial ridge at the crown. While this region is known for its colorful and painterly surface treatment, this artist, however, demonstrates restraint in localizing the pigment to the face. Another noteworthy aspect of this mask, is how, like the powerful Abelam female figure from the Jolika collection (lot 31) this mask is beautifully realized in three-dimensional form, whereas most Abelam sculpture tends to be in high-relief or in three-quarters without a fully formed back.
There is no direct comparable for this mask. Most likely, though, it served as a mask which was used to decorate the large yams during important ceremonies to celebrate the harvest of this staple food source, and to give thanks to the spirits. Stylistically, the head relates to Wosera yam masks made of a soft wood, and the offered mask has holes at the base for attachment (Friede op.cit.). However, the offered mask is of a hard wood and fully hollowed at the core. For an example of a more traditional, large-scale yam mask of softer wood in the collection of the Berlin Museum, see Koch, 1968, plate 13, figure 66.