A Fine Lower Congo , Vili People Carved Figural Ivory Ritual Flywhisk Handle

A Fine Lower Congo , Vili People Carved Figural Ivory Ritual Flywhisk Handle

1800 to 1900 Lower Congo

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A Fine Lower Congo , Vili People Carved Figural Ivory Ritual Flywhisk Handle . The eyes inlaid with shell , the interior hollow
19 th Century

Size : 10 cm high – 4 ins high
When the Portuguese explorers dropped anchor in the estuary of the Congo River in 1482 the Kingdom of the Kongo had already become the largest state in central Africa ; a centrally organised nation with governor's ruling over provinces on behalf of a King . During the 16 th and 17 th centuries it was known as a powerful and prestigious African Kingdom and sent diplomats to Europe and Brazil .
Art proclaimed the authority of the Kongo King's who were sacred . Figures , stools , staffs of office , ivory handles and sceptres , and textiles set the King and his Chiefs apart from commoner's and established their right to rule .
The ritual fly whisk was an attribute of a Chief and was used as a symbol of authority . The smooth creamy patina suggests that this finial was grasped in the hand over a long period of time .

Dimensions
Height 10.00 cm (3.94 inches)
Medium
Ivory
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