Lot 18
  • 18

A FINE AKAN TERRACOTA FUNERARY HEAD, Ghana

Estimate
15,000 - 25,000 USD
Sold
11,250 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • height 12 1/2 in. 31.8 cm

Provenance

Chaim and Renee Gross, New York

Catalogue Note

Both oral and written evidence suggest that ancient Akan funerary terracotta portraiture originated in a royal context. According to oral tradition, each time a chief died, "an elderly female artist with powers of clairvoyance would be commissioned to make a terracotta image of that individual. Akan royal portraits tended to be idealised; frequently, they embodied attributes of physical perfection - fleshy rings around the neck, big bulging eyes, and shapely noses and lips considered beautiful in Akan culture" (quoted after Musée Dapper 2003: 96). For a related example cf. loc. cit. (106).

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