Lot 156
  • 156

Attie (or Akye) Figure, Lagoons Region, Ivory Coast

12,000 - 18,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • wood
  • Height: 21 5/8 inches (54.9 cm)


Merton D. Simpson, New York, acquired in 1974
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Catalogue Note

Figures from the Lagoons region of Ivory Coast like the present example, in which the body is composed of a vertical rectangular "ladder", are extremely rare.  Little is known of Lagoons sculpture in general, and the particular use of these figures remains enigmatic.  The present example as well as others in this small corpus are pierced at the head, presumably for suspension.  An example from the collection of Brian and Diane Leyden (see Fogel 2012: 115) reveals a typical facial morphology in the style that is referred to variously as Ebrie, Akye, or Attie, while more abstract examples like the present sculpture are more difficult to assign.  For two other examples see Sotheby's, Paris, June 15, 2004, lot 125 and Sotheby's, Paris, December 4, 2008, lot 98.  Notwithstanding the paucity of knowledge about their function, these figures employ an inventively reductive abstraction of the human form, and are a testament to the artistic intelligence of Lagoons sculptors.  The present example bears signs of significant age and is encrusted with thick layers of ritually-applied materials from a long period of use in situ.