African Art: a prestigious Swiss collection

Milan, Wednesday 14 October 2020


Kran (Ivory Coast, region of Man on the border with Liberia)

Black patina wood, indigenous fabric cap
H 24 cm
Chimpanzee mask.
Representation of a chimpanzee (Kaogle). Before fighting against another tribe, in the presence of a male audience, the mask was used to stir up anger in the fighters during the battle. The face was carved based on anatomical criteria similar to those of a monkey. The mouth is open and is depicted in the act of emitting a sound, while the eyes are tubular and emphasised by aluminum disks, which is a clear reference to Grebo masks. Both the eyes and mouth seem to be aimed at capturing the attention of those present. It is a fantastical and surreal work of art.


€ 6.000 - 8.000

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- George F. Keller antique collection (Bern) (Inv. G.F.K. 102);
- Former Paolo Morigi collection (Lugano);
- Former private collection (Lugano);


- Bern 1980, Musée des Beaux Arts;
- Lugano 2002, Palazzo Riva, Banca Svizzera Italiana (BSI);


- MORIGI PAOLO “Raccolta di un amatore d’arte primitiva”, Magliaso, Lugano & Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland 1980, fig. 90, page 92;
- VENTURI LUCA M. “Anime antiche, arte negra, da una raccolta di sculture dell’Africa occidentale” BSI Bank, Lugano 2002, fig. 6;


African Art

Via Paolo Sarpi, 6 - milano
Phone: 02 3363801