African Art: a prestigious Swiss collection

Milan, Wednesday 14 October 2020


Lega, Shabunda region (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Wood with a dark, glossy coating with traces of kaolin and decoration of feathers
H 38 cm

Mask from the Bwame society.
A model of great dimensions that confirms the tradition of Lega art. The slits for the eyes are emphasised by the white of the kaolin. The wooden surface, well-polished, presents a complex decoration of small circles with a central point, an often-used detail in Lega works. It seems that these points represent beauty, the individual’s strength and the sun’s vital strength. The crown of feather is seen in other works in the Bwame society.

Sold € 9.840,00

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- George F. Keller antique collection (Bern) (Inv. G.F.K. 316);
- Former Paolo Morigi collection (Lugano);
- Former private collection (Lugano);


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


Reproduced in:
- MORIGI PAOLO “Raccolta di un amatore d’arte primitiva” Magliaso, Lugano & Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland 1980, fig. 314, page 361;
- VENTURI LUCA M. “Anime antiche, arte negra, da una raccolta di sculture dell’Africa occidentale” BSI Bank, Lugano 2002, fig. 53;

- FELIX MARK LEO “100 Peoples of Zaire and their sculpture: Lega, pages 70 and 71” Brussels 1987;
- FELIX MARC LEO & AUTORI VARI “Congo Masks – Masterpieces from Central Africa” Brussels 2018, Edited by Marc Leo Felix, pages 266 - 274;
- CORNET JOSEPH “Art de l’Afrique noire au pays de fleuve Zaire” Brussels 1972, pages 257 - 283;
- CAMERON ELISABETH L. “Art of the Lega” UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles, 2001;


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