A Songye openwork stool
Lot 752
A Songye openwork stool
Sold for US$ 48,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
A Songye openwork stool
Property of various owners
A superb Songye openwork stool
Democratic Republic of Congo, the seated figure abstracted into a series of openwork arcs; the spine conceived as bisected set of lines, the arms and legs deeply bent with elbows to knees. The large feet and hands to the upper and lower portions of the stool, while the front of the seat bears a powerful Songye face with open mouth and barred teeth. Overall lustrous red-brown surface with remains of white pigment.
height 13in

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Alvin Abrams, Greenwich, CT

    Published:
    Robbins and Nooter, African Art in American Collections, p. 431, fig. 1108, erroneously described as a Lulua cup.

    This fine stool comes from the workshops of the far western Songye, perhaps near the Nsapo at the edge of the Lubilash River, as influences of other groups in the Kasai can be sensed in the overall conception and posture. Indeed, the highly unusual treatment of the elbow-to-knee gesture, found often in Lulua sculpture, is even more remarkable in conjunction with the peculiar treatment of the bisected spine; the entire body, becoming a play of echoing arcs.
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