TO BE RECEIVED: Luba Female Figure
Lot 2116
Luba Female Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sold for US$ 6,100 inc. premium
Lot Details
Luba Female Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
height 19in (43.3cm)
standing on abstract semicircular block feet supporting angular bent legs and broad rounded hips, the prominent genitalia beneath a slender torso with projecting acute navel and raised tattooing made of wire tapped into the wood, framed by broad rounded shoulders leading to lengthy attenuate arms looping and terminating in hands grasping the conical breasts, surmounted by a slightly cocked, forward-thrusting head with small hole at the crown, a raised hollowed rectangular mouth, triangular nose and coffee bean eyes flanked by semicircular ears, wearing a typical Luba crossed coiffure at the back with a raised chevron band across the crown, two numbers on the bottom reading '80' in white pigment and 'A34' in red pigment, an old label accompanies this piece reading "K.K. Naturhistor Hofmuseum Anthropolog-Ethnograph Sammlung."; fine blackened patina.

Könlicher König Naturhistor Hofmuseum, Anthropolog-Ethnograph Sammlung (Royal Emperor's Natural History Court Museum, Anthropologic-Ethnographic Collection), later renamed the Museum für Völkerkunde, Vienna.
Harry Franklin Gallery, Beverly Hills

Cf. Fagg (1970: fig. 68) for another figure with unusual wire tapped into the wood.
Cf. Roberts and Roberts (1996: fig. 109) for the type, "used in Mbudye initiation rites to represent the myriad titles and officeholders in the Luba royal hierarchy".

  1. Fredric Backlar
    Specialist - African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, 90046
    United States
    Work +1 323 436 5416
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