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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "African Kongo Peoples Cylindrical Ivory Carving"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Virgin Mary with four attendants
Mid 19th Century
Size: 9cm high, 5.5cm wide, 5cm deep – 3½ ins high, 2¼ ins wide, 5cm deep
This ivory carving is an example of how Christian symbols have become intermingled with African ones. In the Kongo the gesture of the right hand to the shoulder is a sign of respect or deference to a superior. The four figures most probably represent attendant Saints protecting with a veil the figure of the Virgin Mary, symbolic of her role as mediator between Man and the Divine. The presence of these motifs suggests that this ivory had a liturgical use or was made for use in a shrine context.