A Baule seated figure
Lot 2526
A Baule seated figure
Sold for US$ 19,200 inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A fine and old Baule seated figure
Ivory Coast, exceptionally carved, with heavy encrustation, the large male figure seated in regal posture, old cloth to waist; the balance and poise of the original carving evident beneath the encrusted surface.
height 21 1/4in


  • Provenance:
    Jacques Hautelet
    Robert Jacobsen, prior to 1960.

    Governors State University, IL, 2003
    Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003
    Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004
    Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005

    Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.12, fig.27

    Baule statuettes present two types of spirit figure: spirit mates in the other world or bush spirits who inhabit nature. Bush spirits intervene in a person's life to cause madness or in order to initiate a diviner who will subsequently display the figure. Libations presented to these figures develop an encrusted surface such as we see on this example. The wooden sculpture otherwise presents an elder seated on a stool. The imposing size and stature of this figure, and the almost ethereal qualities of the slightly-worn features, communicate a sense of dignity and stately elegance. Dr. Chris Roy in a letter accompanying this lot suggests the sculpture dates to the 19th century.