SNK 1212-5 – SOLD
Teke (biteke) Fetish Figure, Congo
H: 34 cm (13,4″), W: 4,5 cm (1,8″)
Figures like these are meant to have apotropaic functions and they are carved for several reasons ranging from protection of women to assist a healer during a performance of divination in instances of illness or death. The hollow space was originally filled with a substance of human remains believed to possess a magical power to heal or protect.
The figures carved by Teke artists are like this example characterized by slightly bent legs, a columnar torso and an enlarged head with typical linear facial scarifications and a trapezoidal beard. Their height varies from between 15 and 80 cm and these figures can be used either for an individual or for the entire community.
Age: Est. beg. 20th Century.
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.Request price for Teke Figure