Blolo Bian Male Figure with Coin Amulet ‘Queen Elisabeth I’, Baule, Ivory Coast
H: 34 cm (13,4″), W: 6 cm (2,4″)
This elegantly carved male figure comes from the Baule people of Ivory Coast well known for the quality and detail of their carving. The Baule make two general types of carved figures: those which represent otherworld men and women and those which represent nature spirits.
This particular figure probably represents a human spirit, an otherworld man, as the nature spirits are given a more abstract form unlike this figure which has very distinctive human features. The Baule believe that spirits from the other world once lived in this world or have always lived there.The Baule make statues of these spirits. The wooden object is believed to be one with the spirit it contains, so in speaking of the object, one speaks of the spirit.
Provenance: Private Danish collection. It was either acquired directly from Lau (Laurence) Sunde’s collection in Copenhagen, which dates back to the 1940s, or Lau (Laurence) Sunde was an adviser to the collector.
Sunde had a “Etnografica” boutique in 1948, that became recognized among collectors as the most specialized boutique of its kind at the time. Tribal and oriental artefacts were purchased from private collectors as well as at auctions in Paris, Amsterdam and London, among other places.
Full description of Lau (Laurence) Sunde will be forwarded by request.
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