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Lot No. 34


Ligbi, Ivory Coast: a very old and rare mask of the ‘yangalele’ type, portraying a human face, in front of which a bird’s head ‘hangs’ vertically.


These ‘yangalele masks’ belong to the ‘do’ group of the Ligbi people and their neighbours, the Kulango. They make their appearance at the annual, large dance festivals of these tribes. The mask is carved from very hard, heavy wood and dyed black. Its oblong face displays above at the sides two small antelope horns, simple slit eyes and mouth with decorative scarification marks at the sides, as well as a short chin and an all-round serrated beard.
A special feature of this ‘yangalele’ mask type is, however, the bird’s head, whose beak ‘hangs’ down vertically from the crown of the head down to the chin, over the face. This is unique in African art. The depicted bird is a mythical ‘calao bird’, a hornbill, which is viewed by many ethnic groups in West Africa as ‘sacred’ (for example by the Senufo, Bobo, Bwa etc.). Overall an exceptionally old and rare piece, without notable damage and with an old, partially shiny patina (also on the back, on the inside).
Height: 35 cm; width: c. 14 cm. Between c. 1900 and the first third of the 20th century. (ME)

Provenance: Private collection, Paris; currently: Austrian private collection.

Lit.: ‘African Art in American Collections’ by Robbins & Nooter, ill. 147; ‘Encyclopedia of African Art and Culture’ by K.-F. Schädler, ill. p. 371

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

erwin.melchardt@dorotheum.at

06.04.2017 - 15:00

Realized price: **
EUR 2,000.-
Starting bid:
EUR 1,300.-

Ligbi, Ivory Coast: a very old and rare mask of the ‘yangalele’ type, portraying a human face, in front of which a bird’s head ‘hangs’ vertically.


These ‘yangalele masks’ belong to the ‘do’ group of the Ligbi people and their neighbours, the Kulango. They make their appearance at the annual, large dance festivals of these tribes. The mask is carved from very hard, heavy wood and dyed black. Its oblong face displays above at the sides two small antelope horns, simple slit eyes and mouth with decorative scarification marks at the sides, as well as a short chin and an all-round serrated beard.
A special feature of this ‘yangalele’ mask type is, however, the bird’s head, whose beak ‘hangs’ down vertically from the crown of the head down to the chin, over the face. This is unique in African art. The depicted bird is a mythical ‘calao bird’, a hornbill, which is viewed by many ethnic groups in West Africa as ‘sacred’ (for example by the Senufo, Bobo, Bwa etc.). Overall an exceptionally old and rare piece, without notable damage and with an old, partially shiny patina (also on the back, on the inside).
Height: 35 cm; width: c. 14 cm. Between c. 1900 and the first third of the 20th century. (ME)

Provenance: Private collection, Paris; currently: Austrian private collection.

Lit.: ‘African Art in American Collections’ by Robbins & Nooter, ill. 147; ‘Encyclopedia of African Art and Culture’ by K.-F. Schädler, ill. p. 371

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

erwin.melchardt@dorotheum.at


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm
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


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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