A Fine Shona / Tsonga , Zimbabwe / Mozambique Carved Wood Headrest 'Mutsago'

A Fine Shona / Tsonga , Zimbabwe / Mozambique Carved Wood Headrest 'Mutsago'

1800 to 1900 Shona / Tsonga , Zimbabwe

Offered by Finch & Co

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A Fine Shona / Tsonga , Zimbabwe / Mozambique Carved Headrest ‘Mutsago’ of architectural form . Fine old patina
19 th Century
The lustre of the patina is obtained by continuous use . The wood becoming saturated with hair oils ; the headrest takes on the identity of the sleeper and comes to be seen as the individual’s spiritual representative . Headrests from this area were often buried with their owner .
A distinctive feature of these headrests are the vertical lugs extending from both sides of the cross bar which is decorated with small chevrons . The lobed base supports a carved central support from which rise three upright beams . Headrests from this area have a great inventiveness in the form and variation of design of the central support , and although they were not made to be radically different from one another it is the subtle variations that distinguishes each remarkable piece .
Fine old patina
Provenance : Ex London Private collection
See : Finch & Co catalogue no. 4 ( item no. 108 and 129 ) for comparisons
See : Finch & Co catalogue no. 4 ( item no. 108 and 129 ) for comparisons

Dimensions
Height 15.00 cm (5.91 inches)
Width 16.00 cm (6.30 inches)
Depth 6.50 cm (2.56 inches)
Medium
Wood
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