Lot: 303

91 Tribal Art Auction

Nail Fetish "nkisi n'kondi"

D. R. Congo, Dondo / Kamba / Bwende

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Erik Berlin, Malmö, Sweden (1950's)
Jan Lundberg, Malmö, Sweden
Mark Eglinton, New York, USA
Maureen Zarember, New York City, USA
H: 22 inch 18000 EUR
plus 27 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, iron, plant fibre, cloth, rep., base

The torso is studded by iron nails and metal blades. Nail fetishes were used as vehicles for diviners to communicate with spirits and to cajole them in witnessing human’s activities and deal making.

It was Raoul Lehuard who, in his seminal book, "Art Bakongo, Les Centres de Style" (1989), was the first to identify the "Dondo-Kamba style" in the Niari valley in North-Eastern Kongo country. The style he outlined was defined more precisely by Marc Felix in "Art & Kongos" (1995).

Lehuard, Raoul, Art Bakongo, Les Centres de Style, Vol. II, o.O. 1989, p. 627 Lehuard, Raoul, Art Bakongo, Les Centres de Style, Vol. I, o. O., 1989, p. 157 ff Felix, Marc L., Art & Kongos, Brussels 1995, p. 177 ff.
"Art in Motion, Cultures: The Worlds Arts Fair" in: Tribal Art Magazine, No 80, Summer 2016, p. 38