Benin altar head
Lot 137
Head for Shrine (Altar), Edo People, Benin height 24in (61cm)
US$ 12,000 - 18,000
€9,500 - 14,000
amended

Lot Details
Head for Shrine (Altar), Edo People, Benin
uhunmwun-elao
Wood
height 24in (61cm)

Provenance:
Robert Stolper, Amsterdam
Pace Primitive Art, New York
Private Collection, Chicago

The back of the head is carved with a slot for holding a tusk or animal horn, and for anchoring the head to the altar. The carved decorative motifs surrounding the face depict coral, and the feather rising on the left side is a sign of courtly, chief's attire. The large size of the present example suggests it came from an elaborate ancestral altar from a powerful chief's house.

This exceptionally carved head exhibits the amount of wear and ancient patina consistent with a late 19th century or earlier date of carving.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the last description should read "This exceptionally carved head exhibits the amount of wear and ancient patina consistent with a late 19th century or earlier date of carving."
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  1. Fredric Backlar
    Specialist - African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art
    Bonhams
    Work
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    Work +1 323 436 5416
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