Mandingo Pistol, Sierra Leone/Guinea
Wood, metal, leather
length 12 1/2in (31.7cm)
Private Collection, Monrovia, Liberia, prior to 1975
Eric Robertson Collection, New York
Private Collection, New York, acquired from the above by the present owner in 1999
Although originally collected in Guinea, West Africa, this pistol is similar to others produced by Bamana or Dogon smiths based in Mali; carved from wood and forged by blacksmiths with imported iron barrel and wrapped with cow leather, the handle is accentuated with a phallic symbol decorated with a brass ring.