Lot: 249

Headdress with figural superstructure

Nigeria, Afo

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Merton Simpson, New York, USA H: 8.7 inch 6000 EUR / 12000 EUR

wood/strongly encrusted patina, nails/aglets, rep. (in several places), collection number "969", base This work was one of Merton Simpson's favorite pieces and graced his desk for many years. It is an unusual old carving, to which only two comparable objects exist, see AHDRC 0094957 and AHDRC 0133209. They also show a helmet-shaped base, which is full of anthropomorphic figures on the front and back, while on the sides four-legged creatures with elongated bodies can be found. The stylized bird's beaks make reference to hunting (bait). The Afo, who call themselves Eloyi, are a relatively small ethnic group living on the north side of the Benue River. The Igala, Idoma and Tiv are their neighbours on the other side of the river.

Berns, Marla C. et. al., Arts of the Benue River Valley, Los Angeles 2011, p. 188