H. 3 1/4 x W. 1 3/8 x D. 15/16 in. (8.3 x 3.5 x 2.4 cm)
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1964
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 352
Souvenir ivories from the Loango Coast of west-central Africa were created in many forms. Among them were full elephant tusks carved in relief with multiple scenes, relief-carved plaques, and figurines such as this example. Carved onto the convex portion of an elephant's tusk, this figurine portrays three male figures wearing plain wrappers and arm bangles. The figures likely represent the large numbers of local workers who labored along the coast under the employment of foreign maritime traders.
[Julius Carlebach Gallery, New York, until 1950]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, 1950, on loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1959–1964; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1964–1978