This vintage Makonde African blackwood carving is modernist and sculptural, with smooth lines and a stylized look. It was made circa 1930s to 1960s, and this figural image with pot on head held by elongated hand is also found in the "shetani" (spirit) figures made by early carvers. In fact, that style of figural is found in the Kenyan National Archives in the much earlier part of the 20th Century (see Photo 10 for an example of the one in the archives, which is carved of a different material). The piece offered here is unsigned, although there are several well-know Makonde carvers from the 1960s, such as Chanuo Maundu or Samaki Likankoa, who produced similar pieces. What we do know is that this sculpture was of the shetani genre of Makonde carvings. The piece is beautiful. There is one blond spot on the back side. And a line in the wood, like a crack yet instead of pulling apart seems to have pushed together. This is not uncommon as exotic wood ages in an arid climate.
It's fairly hard to find images of Makonde carvings, and here is an exhibit of one of the largest private collections in the world:
The piece offered here measures 16" tall and the base is about 4-1/2" wide and about 2-1/2" deep. Weighs just over two pounds. Has a narrow profile and should be stood in a spot that won't be bumped, as it is slightly wobbly and easy to topple if it's not in a secure spot.
Rare piece for the person fascinated by other cultures.
Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.
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Hacienda decor: https://romaarellano.com/shop/6877927/hacienda-taos-mexico
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1-3 business days
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We get correspondance almost daily asking how much certain items are worth or what the price was of items that have sold, and we can no longer respond to these messages.