Ivory pendant mask, Edo people, Kingdom of Benin, Nigeria. Estimate: £3,500,000-4,500,000. Photo: Sotheby’s.
Fact is that a controversy started around this object quite fast and that the Edo State Government requested a cancellation of the auction through the United Nations. Also some Facebook group requested to Stop The Sale of Stolen 16th Century Benin Mask and got more than 500 fans quite fast
SOTHEBY’S STATEMENT REGARDING CANCELLATION OF BENIN SALE
“The Benin Ivory Pendant Mask and other items consigned by the descendants of
Lionel Galway which Sotheby’s had announced for auction in February 2011 have
been withdrawn from sale at the request of the consignors.”
LONDON.- On 17th February 2011, Sotheby’s will sell a rare, newly re-discovered, 16th century ivory pendant mask depicting the head of the Queen mother from the Edo peoples, Kingdom of Benin in Nigeria along with five other rare works from Benin collected at the same time.
Only four other historical ivory pendant masks with related iconography of this age and quality are known – all of which are housed in major museums around the world1. All of the ivory masks are widely recognized for the quality of their craftsmanship, for the enormous scale of Benin’s artistic achievement and for their importance in the field of African art. Produced for the Oba (or King) of Benin, these ivory pendant masks are testament to the Kingdom of Benin’s golden age when the kingdom flourished economically, politically and artistically.
The masks rank among the most iconic works of art to have been created in Africa. The mask to be sold at Sotheby’s in February is estimated at £3.5-4.5* million. It had been on public view in 1947 as part of a loan exhibition at the Berkeley Galleries in London entitled ‘Ancient Benin’, and then again in 1951 in ‘Traditional Sculpture from the Colonies’ at the Arts Gallery of the Imperial Institute in London.
read more inside about the mask and an article about the Planned Sales Of Stolen Benin Artefacts: EDSG Urges UN Intervention
This is THE BOOK if you collect or like African Art Ivory’s. Limited editionof 999. Hard cover, A4 format, 280 pages, +/- 1000 color illustrations. Many articles from ivory experts in English, French, and Dutch. I will be on sale in Brussels during the Bruneaf at Galerie Congo, 2 Impasse Saint-Jacques, during the Lega exhibition. Price around 250€.
Never has a book dealt specifically with the ritual use of antique ivory sculptures in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – until now.
Click the image to enlarge the cover of White gold, black hands: ivory sculpture in Congo
Ivory is a touchy subject. People seem reluctant to publicize this appealing medium, fearing that its glorification might lead to the killing of elephants.
The authors are aware of today’s poaching and illegal trade in African elephant tusks and address the problem directly.
The book opens with an essay by “Renaissance man” Charles Meur, who explains what ivory is and identifies the different animals that produce it. His superb drawings and incisive texts show where elephants were previously living and who their ancestors were.
Congo basin «Ritual Art» specialist Marc Leo Felix details the production and use of traditional ivory sculpture in the Kongo Kingdom between the 16th and 20th centuries.
Musicologist Dr. Ignace De Keyser of the Royal Museum for Central Africa, in Tervuren, Belgium, writes about an astonishing northern Kongo ivory trumpet inspired by an ancient European model.
Dr. Nichole N. Bridges of the Baltimore Museum of Art (USA) describes the 19th century production, along the Loango Coast, of exquisitely sculpted ivory tusks for a newly arrived European clientele.
Some thousand stunning color photographs, drawings, graphs and maps illustrate the four authors’ essays.
I can send you the book for 290€ all costs included:
Some information about one of the ivory’s illustrated in the book that will be sold at auction in Paris in June : ...