Lot 252: An unusual Songye altarpiece

An unusual Songye altarpiece, Songye; D.R. Congo

In the form of an incised board of tapering form, a small head emerging from the lower part carved almost fully in the round; the face with incised bands at the forehead and at either side of the nose. The maskette face hollowed out on the back of the board. fine od surface and patina consistent with age and use. H. 22 1/2"

Songye boards of this type are found near the Luba frontier but often depict a Kifwebe style mask in high relief rather than a naturalistic head. The use of this enigmatic object is unknown, though may be related to similar cultural institutions.

Property of a New York Private Collector

Field collected by Rev. Lawson Mooney; Director of Catholic Aid Agencies, Congo, C. 1950's - 1960's.

Price Realized: $100

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