Vili, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1800-1900
Wood, nails, glass
Height : 32 cm
Dimondstein collection, San Francisco;
Galerie Ratton-Hourdé, Paris
Private collection, Barcelona
Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert, Paris
África, Colecciones privadas de Barcelona, Museo Fundacion Godia Barcelona, 27 February-30 June 2003
Art africà, Fundació Caixa de Girona, Spain, 22 July-18 September 2005
L. Guardiola, Africa, colecciones privadas de Barcelona, 2003, p. 69, n°44 F.
Pujol, Art africà, Girona, Spain, 2005, p. 77, n° 45
L. Guardiola, Africa, colecciones privadas de Barcelona, 2003, p. 69, n°44 F. Pujol, Art africà, Girona, Spain, 2005, p. 77, n° 45
To our knowledge, this extremely ancient Kongo figure possesses the particularity -unique in the whole extensive corpus- to have another little figure carved on the back, emerging from the headdress, like a braid. The burnished surface, craqueled at the base, suggests the piece was put on the fire ritually. Like most burnt objects, this treatment transformed dramatically the initial ap- pearance of the figure, conferring him a more cryptic aspect. We are here in front of an object that was intented to endow tremendous power, and that was clearly used through a ritualistic context.