1800 to 1900 Nigeria

Offered by Finch & Co


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A very fine male Ibeji figure carved with squared scars on his stomach and vertical scars on the face. Rekitts Blue on the hairdo. Red and white beads around his neck. His small eyes carved high on his face. Black coconut disks decorate his waist and green beads are worn on his left wrist.
19th century

Gbongan / Oyo. Somewhere between Kire and Ibadan.
All of these Ibeji were collected between May, 1958 and March, 1962 by one British collector who encountered his first sculpture in a small market in Oyo whilst he was working in western Nigeria as a biochemist. He subsequently developed an interest in the Yoruba and their religion and whilst continuing to purchase Ibeji he also attended and photographed the Yourba festivals. Through a network of priests and devotees he visited many villages and amassed a personal archive of research material and photographs. This material was used for lectures and some of the photographs were published whilst he was living in the USA. The material was copied by the Museum of Primitive Art and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
This personal collection of Ibeji was formed to illustrate the Yoruba sculptural aesthetic, and out of a great interest in the people and their beliefs.
cf. Ibeji. Chemeche, 2003. illus. 90 (not as fine as our example)
Ibeji. Mareidi & Gert Stoll, 1980. illus. 31
Height 23.00 cm (9.06 inches)
Finch & Co

Finch & Co
Suite No 744
2 Old Brompton Road

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