A closely related figure was in the collection of cosmetics magnate Helena Rubinstein (see fig. 1), featuring a nearly identical treatment of the eyes, the same configuration of metal plates and tacks on the face, and metal-plated shoulders. The sale of Rubinstein's collection at Sotheby Parke Bernet in 1966 was the first major auction of African and Oceanic Art in the United States and a landmark for the African Art market. Interestingly, the purchaser of the Rubinstein Songye figure, lot 241 in the 1966 auction, was the young Allan Stone. The present lot is clearly a work by the same distinctive artist.
The rich array of original attachments to the present figure incorporate refereneces to three elements: air, earth, and water. A woven headress of bird feathers cascades from the head; the figure wears a necklace centered on a pendant of the tooth of a carnivorous mammal; and a strap covered in lizard skin is bound to the torso.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale