A Teke/Tsaye facemask

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Lot 2570
A very fine Teke/Tsaye facemask
height 14in

Sold for US$ 17,400 inc. premium
A very fine Teke/Tsaye facemask
Republic of Congo (Brazzavile), carved in high relief, in classical Teke/Tsaye style; the “horizon line” finely delineated. Raised ridge to reverse, fine dry patina with pigmentation.
height 14in

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Merton Simpson

    Exhibited:
    Governors State University, IL, 2003
    Krannert Art Museum, IL, 2003
    Belger Art Foundation/University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, 2004
    Tall Grass Art Association, IL, 2005

    Published:
    Bourgeois and Rodolitz, REMNANTS OF RITUAL: SELECTIONS FROM THE GELBARD COLLECTION OF AFRICAN ART, Ethnos, New York, 2003, p.32, fig.72

    Originally adorned with a ring of feathers and a collar of raffia fiber, this variety of mask was worn in acrobatic performances. The circular mask is divided into two parts at the level of the eye slits, an upper half that protrudes slightly outward and a sunken lower half yet the overall dynamic relief pattern disguises the two levels. The raised motifs are variously named: designating a crocodile pattern on the forehead and a python or venomous insect pattern rising from the bottom and both dominated by large eyes that unite the two planes and various facial features with scarification or lunar crests arching along the edges.
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