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African Art | Works from the Swiss collection of Walter Schwab

Wednesday 13 October 2021 • Milan


NGOMBE, DOKO, IBOKO Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa)


€ 800 - 1.200


€ 768

The price includes buyer's premium


h 62 cm
Northern region, high course of the Ngiri River (Ngombe), on the meander of the Congo River (Doko).
Forged iron blade with external shearing engraved on both sides.
Wooden handle covered with iron twin lead on the grip and brass tacks on the lower part. A brass chain, suitable for keeping the knife close to the wrist, is present under the handle. This aspect is rare for knives of this type.The refined engravings on the blade are characteristic of these groups’ weapons.Traces of rust and good glaze from use. Object denotes prestige.
Local name: Ngwolo
Weapons of this sort are often known as “execution knives” because they were used to decapitate criminals, thus also becoming a symbol of power. They were also used during tribal disputes to unnerve enemies.Considered to be precious objects, they were also used to find a wife whose dowry might consist of 20 pieces. Ngbaka women would hold them during their dances.


FISCHER WERNER & ZIRNGIBL MANFRED A., Afrikanische Waffen, Passau 1978, pagina 112, n° 196 (202);
ELSEN JAN & AUTORI VARI, Beauté Fatale: Armes d’Afrique Centrale, Crédit Communal, Bruxelles 1992, pagina 127, n° 148 (292);
ELSEN JAN, De fer et de fierté: Armes blanches d’Afrique Noire du Musée Barbier-Mueller, Genéve & Milan 2003, pag. 153 (524);
GOSSEAU CHRISTIAN, Tribal arms monographs: Le couteau d’exécution et ses dérivés, Vol. I, N° 2, partie II” Bruxelles 1997, pagg. 30 - 33 (527);
PICCARDI MARCO S. & SALVATICI LUCIANO, Lame d’Africa, Firenze 2002, pag. 34 (682);

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