South West Mauritania, Probably Mederdra, Maures Peoples, circa 1900 | Travelling Coffer
South West Mauritania, Probably Mederdra
Maures Peoples, circa 1900
wood, cut and pierced iron overlaid in brass and copper
20cm. high, 51cm. wide, 25cm. deep; 8in., 1ft. 8in., 9 ¾ in.
Very decorative and a rare object. Locked. A chip to one rear corner and small loss at this site. Metal mounts are tarnished but have an attractive patina. Hardwood surface is generally good, a rich dark colour.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Formerly in the Collection of Marc and Denyse Ginzberg
Jean Gabus , Au Sahara, Arts et Symboles, Neuchatel, 1958;
Catherine et Patrick Sargos, Arts et Traditions d'Afrique du Profane au Sacré, pub. Paris, 2010
The nomadic Maures travelled throughout an area now politically divided into Mauritania, Western Sahara and Senegal, carrying their possessions on their camels. Wood coffers with iron frames and metal locks were traditionally made by the blacksmiths in which to store and carry their tools and were adopted for other possessions. The tea ceremony is of the utmost importance in Mauritania and as such has a number of precious objects associated with its preparation so coffers would be made for their transportation. Holy books too required a sturdy locking box.