Lot 168
  • 168

A Fine Kongo or Vili Whistle, Democratic Republic of the Congo

5,000 - 7,000 USD
bidding is closed


the monkey figure with human head and right hand resting on an object, the whole surmounting the horn of a waterbuck antelope (kobus ellipsiprymnus); 'FX97704' in white pigment on base; very fine medium to dark brown patina with areas of encrustation.


Marc Leo Felix, Brussels
Fred Jahn, Munich

Catalogue Note

Whistles made of small antelope horns were used  in minkisi rites. Attached to it with twine was a small wooden figure considered to be magically potent. A closely related monkey figure with similar posture was collected by the Loango expedition in 1875 and is today in the Museum für Völkerkunde, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin (accession no. 'III C 717a-c'); see Koloss (1990: 36, cat. 9).