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African Art | Works from the Swiss collection of Walter Schwab

Wednesday 13 October 2021 • Milan


SENUFO Ivory Coast, region of Korhogo


€ 16.000 - 20.000

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Male sculpture: 74cm tall. Female figure: 72cm tall
Pair of figures

Hardwood with a dark, glossy patina.
According to an ancient Senufo tradition, these two characters represent the image of the forest’s spirit protectors. The body, which has no feet, is supported by a hemispherical base. These works are rare and the style is similar to the famous pair from Samuel Dubiner’s collection. It is likely that this pair of sculptures were preserved as part of a shrine, covered by a piece of protective fabric.The wood has been carefully polished with abrasive leaves to smoothen the surfaces, on which residues of a light dust are still present.Carved copper disks are nailed into the base of the female sculpture.Some reference images have been sculpted on top of the dance helmets used by those belonging to “Lo” society, a sect that regulated the social and religious life of the entire Senufo people. The dance helmets, which emerged together with the famous Deble sculptures, were worn during the funerals of important figures in the community. The rarity of these helmets is suggested not just by the few sculptures we know of, but also by their purpose, as they were only used for a “grand funeral” that the whole community would attend to commemorate all their deceased ancestors of the past 4 or 5 years.These sculptures are very abstract in nature, with only the face showing a certain similarity to the tradition of Senufo works. The structure of the body, with the spiral neck and the absence of arms, is very rare in Senufo statue work. This style is echoed in some Déguélé dance helmets, which also come from the region of Korhogo. They would have been crafted by the Kiembara subgroup, who worked in the community of Fodombélé. The rooster-crest hairstyle suggests a reference to “the sacred bird of the souls”.


Collezione privata (1993);


FRIEDMAN MIRIAM "African art: Collection Samuel Dubiner" Tel Aviv Museum 1960, n° 25 (455);
FRASER DOUGLAS "Arte Primitiva" Editore Il Saggiatore, Milan 1962, page 96 (26);
GOLDWATER ROBERT “Senufo sculpture from West Africa” New York 1964, pag. 21 and figure 84 (1081);
VARIOUS AUTHORS “The Art of a Continent” Tom Phillips Publishers, Jonn Picton, London 1995, notes from Timothy Garrard on pag. 454 (853);
DERBIER ALAIN "Arte e Cultura Africana: Il Museo SMA di Lione" Publication from the Società Missioni Africane (Society of African Missions), Genoa, January-March 2002, n° 53 (696);
MEYER LAURE “Black Africa: Masks, Sculpture, Jewelry”, Paris 2001, pag. 102 e 103 (773);
FISCHER EBERHARD & HOMBERGER LORENZ “Les Maitres de la sculpture de Cote d’Ivoire” Musée du Quai Branly Paris 2015, pag. 159 – 167 (870);
HAHNER-HERZOG IRIS & KECSKESI MARIA & VAJDA LASZLO "L'Autre Visage: Masques africains de la collection Barbier-Mueller" Geneva 1997, pag. 64 (605);

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Condition report

Per richiedere un condition report contattare Il dipartimento fornirà un rapporto generale sullo stato del bene sopra descritto. Si ricorda però che quanto dichiarato da Finarte rispetto allo stato di conservazione dei beni corrisponde unicamente a un parere qualificato e che i nostri esperti non sono restauratori professionisti. Per una relazione dettagliata consigliamo quindi di rivolgersi a un restauratore di vostra fiducia. Si consiglia ai potenziali acquirenti di ispezionare ogni lotto per accertarsi delle condizioni durante le giornate di esposizione come indicato in catalogo.

Altri lotti

PENDE Democratic Republic of the Congo, region of Kasai

PENDE Democratic Republic of the Congo, region of Kasai

Stima € 6.000 - 8.000

Base d'asta € 4.000

BAMBARA   Southern Mali, region of Segou

BAMBARA Southern Mali, region of Segou

Stima € 6.000 - 8.000

Base d'asta € 5.000

BAMBARA   Mali, region of Sikasso and Kutiala

BAMBARA Mali, region of Sikasso and Kutiala

Stima € 10.000 - 14.000

Base d'asta € 10.000

BAMBARA   Mali, region of Segou

BAMBARA Mali, region of Segou

Stima € 14.000 - 18.000

Base d'asta € 13.000

DJIMINI  Ivory Coast

DJIMINI Ivory Coast

Stima € 26.000 - 30.000

Base d'asta € 25.000

CHOKWE   Angola, northern region

CHOKWE Angola, northern region

Stima € 6.000 - 8.000

Base d'asta € 4.000

LOVALE   Zambia, northern region

LOVALE Zambia, northern region

Stima € 4.000 - 6.000

Base d'asta € 4.000

DOGON  Mali, region of the escarpment  in Bandiagara

DOGON Mali, region of the escarpment in Bandiagara

Stima € 4.000 - 5.000

Base d'asta € 2.800

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