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Lot No. 59


Yoruba, Nigeria: a very charming mother and child figure with two children. Style: Oyo.


Yoruba, Nigeria: a very charming mother and child figure with two children. Style: Oyo. - Tribal Art

In the art of the Yoruba people in southwest Nigeria the close connection between mothers and their children is often emphasised and accentuated. Whether it be in carvings for other purposes, such as on the dance sceptre for the god Shango, the so-called ‘Shango club’, on representations of ‘bowl carriers’ (see cat. no. 55), as a ‘large mother’ with her children on the tall epa masks – or also as individual, free-standing sculptures, such as the present one.
This charming group is carved from very hard, brown wood. The woman (and mother) sits on a stool on a round plinth, displays a high, finely lined hairstyle, bangles, as well as typical tribal decorative scarification marks on both cheeks and she shows a calm, contented facial expression. She carries one of her two children, probably the elder one, on her back. She holds the younger child on her knee and carefully supports its head with her left hand, while she offers it her breast with her right. A moving scene, indicating the great esteem of the Yoruba people for their women and mothers (also the entire ‘gelede cult’ revolves around women, mothers and fertility). A fine, skilfully composed and crafted figural group, with two small age-related breaks – not detracting from the overall effect – to the left ear of the mother and to the right foot of the infant. Otherwise, no damage. But with an old, partially shiny patina and partially encrusted remains of sacrificial paste of redwood powder, often present on objects of sacred veneration of the Yoruba people (e.g. on the ‘ibeji twin figures’).
Height: 34 cm; width: c. 10 cm. First half of the 20th century. (ME)

Provenance: Austrian private collection.

Lit.: ‘Yoruba. Sculpture of West Africa’ by William Fagg & John Pemberton III, fig. 33, ill. 50.

Specialist: Erwin Melchardt Erwin Melchardt
+43-1-515 60-465

erwin.melchardt@dorotheum.at

06.04.2017 - 15:00

Starting bid:
EUR 900.-

Yoruba, Nigeria: a very charming mother and child figure with two children. Style: Oyo.


In the art of the Yoruba people in southwest Nigeria the close connection between mothers and their children is often emphasised and accentuated. Whether it be in carvings for other purposes, such as on the dance sceptre for the god Shango, the so-called ‘Shango club’, on representations of ‘bowl carriers’ (see cat. no. 55), as a ‘large mother’ with her children on the tall epa masks – or also as individual, free-standing sculptures, such as the present one.
This charming group is carved from very hard, brown wood. The woman (and mother) sits on a stool on a round plinth, displays a high, finely lined hairstyle, bangles, as well as typical tribal decorative scarification marks on both cheeks and she shows a calm, contented facial expression. She carries one of her two children, probably the elder one, on her back. She holds the younger child on her knee and carefully supports its head with her left hand, while she offers it her breast with her right. A moving scene, indicating the great esteem of the Yoruba people for their women and mothers (also the entire ‘gelede cult’ revolves around women, mothers and fertility). A fine, skilfully composed and crafted figural group, with two small age-related breaks – not detracting from the overall effect – to the left ear of the mother and to the right foot of the infant. Otherwise, no damage. But with an old, partially shiny patina and partially encrusted remains of sacrificial paste of redwood powder, often present on objects of sacred veneration of the Yoruba people (e.g. on the ‘ibeji twin figures’).
Height: 34 cm; width: c. 10 cm. First half of the 20th century. (ME)

Provenance: Austrian private collection.

Lit.: ‘Yoruba. Sculpture of West Africa’ by William Fagg & John Pemberton III, fig. 33, ill. 50.

Specialist: Erwin Melchardt Erwin Melchardt
+43-1-515 60-465

erwin.melchardt@dorotheum.at


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kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Auction: Tribal Art
Date: 06.04.2017 - 15:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 01.04. - 06.04.2017