Figure from a Reliquary Ensemble: Seated Male Holding Vessel
19th - early 20th century (before 1914)
Wood, brass or copper
H. x W.: 20 1/16 x 22 13/16 in. (51 x 58 cm)
Collection Pierre Amrouche
Not on view
This Fang reliquary element was a visual focal point of "Statuary in Wood," prominently positioned on a pedestal. After the work’s removal from Africa at an undetermined date, its history was marked by a succession of transatlantic travels, illustrating the nature of the African-art market since the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1915, following its display at 291, it was acquired in Paris by one of the most prominent African-art collectors of his time, Frank Burty Haviland. Following Haviland’s death in 1971, it disappeared into an American private collection until it resurfaced in the late 1980s and returned to France. It is exhibited here for the first time since 1914.
Paul Guillaume, Paris, before 1914; Frank Burty Haviland, Paris, 1915–71; Private collection, California, until 1989; (Sotheby's, New York, November 14, 1989, lot 196)