A very good mid-20th century Nigerian chess set by J. D. Akeredolu

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Lot 222
A very good mid-20th century Nigerian chess set by J. D. Akeredolu

Sold for £ 1,440 (US$ 1,800) inc. premium
A very good mid-20th century Nigerian chess set by J. D. Akeredolu
Probably carved thorn and ebonised thorn, each piece possibly depicting members of the Fulani people, the kings as seated tribal chiefs wearing turbans and holding staffs, the queens with elaborate hairstyles and wearing rows of necklaces, the bishops as tribal elders wearing turbans, the knights as horsemen with long shields and wearing fez-like headdress, the rooks as thatched huts and the pawns as seated tribesmen, reading, every piece signed 'J. D. Akeredolu' on the base and incised 'Owo', knights lacking weapons, king 7cm, pawn 5cm, with the original hardwood box decorated with geometric motifs, the lid carved with a roundel depicting the king and queen, signed, 26cm. (2)

Footnotes

  • See illustration

    J. Dojomo Akeredolu was born in Owo, Nigeria in 1915. Having studied at the Owo Government School, he later established a sculpture studio, only to return to the school later to teach the art of sculpting. He specialised in tree thorn carving, but also worked in mahogany, ebony and iroko.

    He exhibited at the Barkley Galleries, the International Art Centre and London University in 1945. In 1948 twenty four sculptures were sent to the Harmon Foundation in New York and in 1960 he exhibited at the Nigerian Independence Exhibition.

    The Fulani are a Muslim people, who were originally pastoral and, it is thought, originated from Senegal in the 14th century. Latterly many settled, abandoning their erstwhile nomadic lifestyle and adopted an urban way of life.
A very good mid-20th century Nigerian chess set by J. D. Akeredolu
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