African Art: a prestigious Swiss collection

Milan, Wednesday 14 October 2020


Bambara (Republic of Mali)

Hardwood with a dark coating
H 64 cm
Barn door lock.
Region: valley of the river Niger, south of Bamako.

The body of a female figure is decorated with a deep series of geometric engravings.


€ 4.000 - 5.000

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- Former private collection (Lugano);


- Lugano 2002, Palazzo Riva, Banca Svizzera Italiana (BSI);


Reproduced in:
- VENTURI LUCA M. “Anime antiche, arte negra, da una raccolta di sculture dell’Africa occidentale” BSI Bank, Lugano 2002, fig. 2;

- VARIOUS AUTHORS “Bamana: The art of existence in Mali” Museum Rietberg Zurich, Editor Calleyn J. P. 2001, pages 59 - 65;

These ingenious locks, very popular with the Dogon and Bambara people, were used to close the doors of houses and barns. They were attached to the door with iron cables. The closing mechanism is constructed from pieces of iron bolts – of which one remains – which was raised with a rudimentary iron bar. The key, inserted into the designated slot, unlatched the opening mechanism.


African Art

Via Paolo Sarpi, 6 - milano
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