Bankoni Seated Figure, Region of Segou, Mali
height 10 1/2in (26.7cm)
Private European Collection
Ryann Willis, San Francisco
Private Collection, Washington
A thermoluminescence report and analysis, completed by SAS Re.S.Artes, France, dating the present work to 1870-1910, accompanies the lot.
According to Bravmann, "The Malian terracottas occur over a vast region and in a number of distinct styles. Human figures predominate, sometimes of large size, represented either singly or occasionally as a couple...these terracottas are modeled in elaborate detail, and in a highly distinctive style. The human figures show a wealth of jewellery and body ornaments, as well as items of clothing. Body surfaces are sometimes ornamented with impressed stamps, or drawn lines or even with raised bumps suggestive of some dreadful disease. Elsewhere, notably to the far west towards Bamako, occur terracottas of much simpler style, in which body decoration is kept to a minimum or omitted altogether. This has been named the 'Bankoni style', after the region where many such works are said to have been found." (Phillips, 2004: p. 488)