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African Art / Works from the Swiss collection of Walter Schwab

Wednesday 13 October 2021, 05:00 PM • Milan


DOGON Mali, region of the escarpment in Bandiagara


€ 4.000 - 5.000

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h 30,5 cm
Ancestral figure.
Hardwood covered with a black oily patina with a uniform exudation.
According to Dogon tradition, this sculpture represents a mythological character, perhaps a Nommo, one of five primordial beings who have both male and female characteristics. Their historical tradition believes they are forefathers of the human race.The archaic style of this sculpture places it among the classical works produced by Dogon sculptors.The figure is sculpted in a style that unites the various parts of the body with geometric volumes atop one another. The oblong head, crossed by the long nose in relief, is characteristic of this “cubist” style. The long arms folded on the hands contrast with the smaller length of the legs. A curved piece of iron, which ends with a small rattle, is affixed on the head. According to Dogon mythology, the cylindrical base that supports the sculpture represents the Earth deity, the place where human beings live now. The rectangular wood support has been engraved to house the interlocking sculpture, a common assembly technique in French galleries until the start of the 1900s.


TAJAN ETUDE "Arts Primitifs, Arts Précolombien: Collections Bitran & Paul Chadourne" Paris Hotel Drouot auction on 8 November 1996, lot 60 (337);


Former collection of Pierre Langlois, Paris;
Former collection Albert Bitran (France)
Private collection;

Condition report

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