Heddle pulleys from the Mona Etienne collection

From tool to art

Photo: Five objects, Baule, Jimini, Senufo, Guro

On the 11th of November 2017 we will be auctioning 11 of this precious objects from the Mona Etienne Collection, New York.

Auction in Wurzburg:
Saturday, 11 November 2017 starting at 2 pm 

Preview in Wurzburg:
Wed 8 until Fri 10 November from 10 am until 7 pm 
Sat 11 November from 9 am until 1.30 pm 


Mona Etienne was a pioneer: In the early 1960s, she devoted herself to intensive anthropological studies of the Baule culture with her husband, anthropologist Pierre Etienne. The main focus of their field research was on questions of gender and questions about the social position of women.

The heddle pulleys were gifts from Baule women to Mona Etienne as a sign of their appreciation.


Heddle pulley with anthropomorphic buffalo head, Jimini, Tusia

Heddle pulleys with figurative carvings can be found especially among the ethnic groups of the Ivory Coast, and bear witness to high craftsmanship. They are the property of the weaver and are passed on as an heirloom in the family.

As motifs, their carvers can fall back on the almost inexhaustible reserves of the tribal symbolism, the liturgical instruments of the village and the ancestral cult. The Mona Etienne collection contains some especially precious objects.


Côte d'Ivoire, Jimini/Tusia
Heddle pulley with anthropomorphic buffalo head
H: 17,5 cm

Mona Etienne, New York, USA, collected in situ (1960s/70s)