Lobala Zoomorphic Slit-Drum, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lot 88
Lobala Zoomorphic Slit-Drum, Democratic Republic of the Congo
US$ 70,000 - 90,000
€ 57,000 - 74,000

African and Oceanic Art

5 Dec 2017, 13:00 PST

Los Angeles

Lot Details
Lobala Zoomorphic Slit-Drum, Democratic Republic of the Congo Lobala Zoomorphic Slit-Drum, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lobala Zoomorphic Slit-Drum, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Wood, metal
length 94in (238.8cm)

Provenance
Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels, field collected in 1987 in Yangere/Lobala area of the Congo
Philippe Guimiot, Brussels
Private American Collection, acquired in 1990

Cf. Yale University Art Gallery, van Rijn African Art Archive No. 0123300 for a very similar example, now in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota, sold at Sotheby's, New York, May 14, 2010, lot 145

"Ownership of elaborately carved slit gongs was widespread among chiefs in north central Congo and southern Central African Republic...
...A slit gong is an idiophone, a wooden drum without a drumhead. It is formed by hollowing out a log through a long narrow opening. One edge of the opening is thicker and emits a low tone when struck, while the thinner side gives a high tone. Slit gongs are played with sticks, the ends of which are sometimes covered with rubber. Because slit gongs can mimic the tones of human speech, they are used to transmit messages over long distances. They are also used to play music." (Smithsonian Institute, WEB, nd)

This monumental slit gong is masterfully carved to represent the dynamism of a bushcow. The large ovoid body, carved with a border of zigzags, stands on four bowed rectangular legs, on each end is a narrow, tapering and gracefully carved "head" and "tail" that create an element of aloofness to the otherwise immensity of the work; fine light brown patina with an old indigenous metal repair to the inside of one leg.
Activities
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