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PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Landuman Mask, Guinea
Estimate
15,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
22

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Landuman Mask, Guinea
Estimate
15,00025,000
LOT SOLD. 32,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York

Landuman Mask, Guinea

Provenance

Pierre & Claude Vérité, Paris
Enchères Rive Gauche, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Arts Primitifs. Collection Vérité, June 17-18, 2006, lot 158
Private Collection, acquired at the above auction
American Private Collection, acquired in 2011

Catalogue Note

The Landuman are a small ethnic group that intermingles amongst the Baga and other neighbors. Their striking numbe masks have been long sought after by collectors for their elegant and abstract aesthetic. Numbe are the only known masks attributed to the Landuman and always consist of three sections. Although the masks were worn horizontally, like a helmet, the ovoid central section represents the 'face' of the figure, on which shallow ribs are bisected by a protruding central ridge. A thick triangular snout projects forward from the 'face', punctuated by six hollow rectangular slits on the two sloping planes. This powerful snout is balanced by two broad and curvilinear horns that thrust out from the opposite end of the central dome, connected only at the very top and framing an almond-shaped gap between them.

Current scholarship on the mask’s function is limited. Lamp notes that 'What we know, or don't know [...] is complicated by a number of factors [...] including the extreme secrecy enveloping the sculpture and the probability that it was used in different ways by different groups. Clearly it served both as a shrine figure and as a dance headdress [...]'. (Lamp, Art of the Baga, 1996, p. 140).

Similar masks are in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, New York (inv. no. 74.211.110) and the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Paris (inv. no. 71.1903.32.3). The latter was collected in situ by Dr Maclaud before 1903.

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York