Our catalogue > Tribal Art – Africa

African tribal art is among the most faked of all arts. The vast majority of what is on the market has little historical value or merit for the serious collector. The pieces shown here, all of which are for sale unless marked ‘Reserved’, have been carefully selected by us on account of their artistic merit, their patina and their provenance.

Each piece has been sourced from within the UK, often from old, colonial-era collections. We do not buy from Africa or from those with recent connections to Africa. This is very important.

For this reason, we tend to have many Yoruba pieces because the UK colonised Nigeria and so the UK today is an excellent place to source genuine, old Yoruba art.

Items sold by us are represented in important public collections including the Minneapolis Institute of Arts & the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.

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5486

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Fine Pende Chief’s Hippopotamus Ivory Amulet Pendant (Gikhokho)

Pende People, Congo
early 19th century

length: 6cm, width: 4cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, London; and acquired by the previous owner in London in the 1960s.

5496

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Senufo Carved Wooden Face Mask (Kpelie)

Senufo People, Ivory Coast
circa 1920

length: 39cm, width: 16cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, London; acquired in Europe in the 1970s.

4462

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Nine Copper ‘X’ Currency Crosses

Luba & Yeke People, Katanga Province, Congo
19th century

typical diameter of a cross: 22.5cm Note: Each of these has a custom-made stand - each can be sold separately, or as part of a group.

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, UK

4228

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Carved Steatite Nomoli Figure

Sierra Leone
15th century or earlier

height: 17.3cm, weight: 1,362g

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, London.

4516

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Carved Wooden Prestige Sceptre

Ovimbundu People, Angola
19th century

length: 55cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

4267

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Woman’s Wooden Lip Plate

Kichepo People, Sudan, & Surma People, Sudan/Ethiopia
19th-early 20th century

width: 13.3cm, length: 9.6cm, thickness: 1.6cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private London collection.

4824

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Woven Rattan Congo Comb

Teke People, Congo
19th century

height: 16.2cm, width: 5.7cm

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Provenance

old, private UK collection.

2420

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Yoruba Egungun Headdress Carved by Baba Mola of Kesi

Yoruba People, Nigeria
before 1939

height: 49cm, length: 40cm, width: 27cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

Collected by the Australian artist Donald Friend in Nigeria when he lived there in 1938 and 1939.

3890

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Yoruba Janus-Headed Shango Dancing Wand

Yoruba People, Nigeria
19th century

length: 31.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

3091

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Rare Pair of Ijebu-Yoruba Bronze Ceremonial Anklets

Nigeria
18th century

diameter: 19cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, Isle of Wight, UK.

4473

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Rare Cast Brass Necklace

Vere People, North-Eastern Nigeria & Cameroon
19th century

length: 729cm, weight: 1,704g

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Provenance

UK art market

3576

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Baule Wooden Strip Loom Reed Beater

Baule People, Ivory Coast
early 20th century

length: 20cm, width: 21cm

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Provenance

UK art market

3539

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Yoruba Carved Wooden Figure of Queen Victoria

Yoruba, Nigeria
late 19th century

height: 32.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

4574

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Carved Horn Divination Image of Eshu

Yoruba People, Nigeria
19th century

height: 7.6cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private London collection

3104

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Pair of Yoruba Bronze Ogboni Staves

Yoruba People, Nigeria
early 19th century

heights: 22cm, combined wight: 881g

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

acquired from the estate of Dr Peter Sharratt (d. 2014). Sharratt was a linguist and lecturer in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh who published on Renaissance French sculpture. In his private life, he was an avid collector of tribal art, building up his collection over fifty years. During that time, he bought from UK dealers, collectors and auction houses.

4335

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Carved Wooden Gelede Mask

Yoruba People, Nigeria
early 20th century

height: 21cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

3115

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Fine, Carved Wooden Baule Catapult

Baule People, Ivory Coast
probably 19th century

height (not including stand): 16cm, width: 6.5cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

acquired from the estate of Dr Peter Sharratt (d. 2014). Sharratt was a linguist and lecturer in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh who published on Renaissance French sculpture. In his private life, he was an avid collector of tribal art, building up his collection over fifty years. During that time, he bought from UK dealers, collectors and auction houses.

3107

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Yoruba Eshu Dance Wand

Yoruba People, Egba Tribe, Abeokuta, Nigeria
late 19th century

height: approximately 25cm, width: approximately 6cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

acquired from the estate of Dr Peter Sharratt (d. 2014). Sharratt was a linguist and lecturer in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh who published on Renaissance French sculpture. In his private life, he was an avid collector of tribal art, building up his collection over fifty years. During that time, he bought from UK dealers, collectors and auction houses.

3105

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Songye Androgynous Power Figure

Songye People, Congo
first half of the 20th century

height: 48.5cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

acquired from the estate of Dr Peter Sharratt (d. 2014). Sharratt was a linguist and lecturer in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh who published on Renaissance French sculpture. In his private life, he was an avid collector of tribal art, building up his collection over fifty years. It is not known when or how Dr Sharratt acquired this figure but during his fifty years of collecting, he tended to acquire from within the UK only from dealers, collectors and auction houses.

3895

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Ashanti Carved Wooden Fertility Doll (Akuaba)

Ashanti/Asante People, Ghana
19th century

height: 27.3cm, width: 11.5cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market; the base with an old label for 'Ratton, Paris'.

3108

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Yoruba Shango Oshe Dance Wand

Yoruba People, Egbado Tribe, Igan Okoto, Nigeria
circa 1900

length: approximately 25cm, width: approximately 6cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

acquired from the estate of Dr Peter Sharratt (d. 2014). Sharratt was a linguist and lecturer in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh who published on Renaissance French sculpture. In his private life, he was an avid collector of tribal art, building up his collection over fifty years. During that time, he bought from UK dealers, collectors and auction houses.

4257

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Woman’s Large Ivory Gungulu Bracelet

Gurunsi & Kasena Peoples, Burkina Faso & Ghana
19th-early 20th century

length: 20.8cm, width: 11.4cm, weight: 429g

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, London

3507

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Cast Copper Bwa Do Cult Anklet

Bwa people, Burkino Faso
19th century

length: 20cm. width: 9.7cm, height with stand: 8cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

4258

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Woman’s Ivory Gungulu Bracelet

Gurunsi & Kasena Peoples, Burkina Faso & Ghana
19th-early 20th century

length:16.8cm, width: 10.2cm, weight: 173g

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, London

3119

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Pair of Yoruba Ceremonial Ogboni Staffs

Yoruba People, Ogboni Society, Nigeria
early to mid-20th century

height: approximately (female) 44cm, (male) 45cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

4268

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Woman’s Wooden Lip Plate

Kichepo People, Sudan, & Surma People, Sudan/Ethiopia
19th-early 20th century

width: 13.5cm, length: 9.4cm, thickness: 1.6cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private London collection.

3894

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Nigerian Carved & Painted Wooden Figurative Comb

Nigeria
late 19th-early 20th century

length: 23cm, width: 8cm

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Provenance

UK art market

2938

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Local Ashanti King’s Asipim Chair

Ashanti (Asante) People, Ghana
late 19th century

height: 72cm, depth: 44cm, width: 40cm

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Provenance

private collection, UK

4121

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Carved Wooden Axe Handle or Sceptre Shaped as an Antelope

Tsonga or Zulu, South Africa or Zambia/Zaire
19th century

length: 52.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

2863

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Fine Yoruba Male Ibeji Figure (Ere Ibeji)

Oyo-Yoruba People, Oyo Region, Nigeria
late 19th century

height: 32cm, diameter of the base: approximately 8cm

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Provenance

UK art market

2218

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Rare Yoruba Carved Wooden Processional Staff

Yoruba People, Nigeria
19th-20th century

length/height: 108cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, London; and previously, a private European collection.

2219

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Yoruba Carved Wooden Divination Bowl

Yoruba People, Nigeria
18th-19th century or earlier

height: 14.2cm, diameter: 19cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, UK.

3733

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Ovimbundu Female Head Privilege Sceptre

Ovimbundu People, Angola
circa 1930

length: 56cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

2226

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Rare, Matched Pair of Yoruba Male & Female Eshu Dance Wands

Yoruba People, Nigeria
19th century

heights: 36cm & 37cm

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Provenance

UK art market

2032

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Yoruba Carved Wooden Maternity Figure & Bowl, possibly by the carver Agbonbiofe

Yoruba People, Nigeria
circa 1920

height: 45cm, depth: 27cm

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Provenance

UK art market

4222

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Cast Bronze Hairpin of a Horse & Rider

Dogon People, Mali
19th century

length: 19.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

4046

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Rare Cast Brass Necklace

Vere People, North-Eastern Nigeria & Cameroon
19th century

length: 69cm, weight: 1,303g

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Provenance

UK art market

4279

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Chief’s Bronze ‘Tiered’ Anklet with Bells

Gio or Dan & Wee People, Liberia & Cote d’Ivoire
19th century

outside diameter: 11.5cm, inside diameter: 7.5cm x 8.5cm, height: 4.3cm, weight: 517g

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Provenance

UK art market

4313

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Eshu Dance Wrist Pendant

Yoruba People, Southern Egbado, Nigeria
19th century

height: 10.2cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, London.

4315

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Eshu Dance Wrist Pendant

Yoruba People, Southern Egbado, Nigeria
19th century

height: 12.5cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, London.

4314

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Eshu Dance Wrist Pendant

Yoruba People, Southern Egbado, Nigeria
19th century

height: 8cm

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Provenance

private collection, London.

3498

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Nigerian Yoruba Ibeji Twin Figure (Ere Ibeji)

Yagba Tribe, Egbe Region, Nigeria
late 19th century

height: 25.5cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

3497

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Superb Pair of Ibeji Figures (Ere Ibeji)

Yoruba People, Oyo Tribe, Shaki Region, Nigeria
late 19th century

heights: 24.4cm

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Provenance

UK art market

2004

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Superb & Rare Ovimbundu Carved Wooden Privilege Sceptre

Ovimbundu People, Angola
19th century (probably first half)

length: 54.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

2850

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Cast Brass Pendant & Brass Bead Necklace

Asante/Ashanti, Ghana, West Africa
early 20th century

length of pendant: 12.5cm, length of chain: 66cm, weight: 193g

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Provenance

UK art market

1934

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Wooden Knobkerrie Club Carved with Honeycomb Head

Zulu, KwaZulu-Natal,South Africa
19th century

length: 66cm

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Provenance

UK art market

4047

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Woman’s Brass & Beaded Headdress & Ear Ornament Set

Kikuyu People, Kenya
early 20th century

diameter of each spiral : 8.8cm; length of headdress: 38cm, total weight: 325g

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Provenance

UK art market

1865

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Fine Ifa Yoruba Divination Bowl

Yoruba People, Nigeria
circa 1920 or earlier

height: 19cm, width at widest point: 24cm

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Provenance

UK art market

3416

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Fine Zulu (or similar) Knobkerrie Dance Club

Zulu People or similar, Southern Africa
19th century

length: 43.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

2421

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Yoruba Maternity Figural Offering Bowl

Yoruba People, Nigeria
before 1938-39

height: 64cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

Collected by the artist Donald Friend in Nigeria, 1938

2118

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Ethiopian Carved Wooden Chair

Ethiopia
late 19th century

height: 68cm, width: 36cm, depth: 42cm

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Provenance

an old English collection since the early 1900s.

1019

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Zulu Knobkierrie Club

Zulu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
19th century

length: 63cm

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Provenance

UK art market

1108

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Carved Tsonga Bowl attributed to Muhlati

Tsonga, Mozambique
late 19th century

height: 38cm, width: 18cm

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Provenance

UK art market.

1897

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Kuba Carved Wooden ‘Basket’ Camwood Powder Bowl & Cover

Kuba People, Congo
19th century

height: 5.5cm, diameter: 17cm

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Provenance

UK art market

1898

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Carved Wooden Camwood Powder Box

Kuba People, Congo
19th century

length: 23.8cm, height: 6.6cm, width: 9.4cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

Obtained by the previous owner at Sotheby's London, 'Tribal Art', December 3, 1984.

846

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Bamana Wooden Door Lock (Konbalabala)

Bamana people, Mali
circa 1920

height: 45.5cm, width: 37cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

From a private UK collection. Acquired from Christie’s, 'Tribart Art', June 24, 1996, London, lot 67.

944

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Yoruba Gelede Dance Headdress

Yoruba People, Nigeria
circa 1940

height: 34cm, length: 22cm, width: 27cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market, formerly in an Oxford collection.

1065

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Chokwe Incised Wooden Food Bowl

Chokwe People, Angola/Zambia/ Democratic Republic of Congo
late 19th century

height: 40cm, diameter: 28cm, weight: 2,048g

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Provenance

UK art market.

1915

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Yoruba Wooden Divination Board (Opon Ifa)

Yoruba People, Nigeria
19th century

dimensions: 27cm x 23cm x 2cm

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Provenance

UK art market

1481

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Brass Bird-shaped Pipe

Cameroon
early 20th century

length: 48cm

Available - Ask about this item
2204

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Yoruba Ibeji Figure (Ere Ibeji)

Yoruba People, Oyo Sub-group, Erin Region, Nigeria
circa 1920

height: 29cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market.

2816

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Carved Wood Yoruba Equestrian Altar Group of the Hunter-King Jagun-Jagun

Yoruba People, Nigeria
circa 1900

height: 63cm

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Provenance

UK art market

3000

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Congo Chief’s Axe-Knife

Nsapo & Wongo Peoples, Congo
19th-early 20th century

length: 39cm, width: 22.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market

3001

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Baule Bronze Currency Anklet

Baule People, Ivory Coast
19th century-early 20th century

height: 26cm (without stand); 37cm (with stand); width: 25cm, depth: 14.4cm

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Provenance

UK art market

3109

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Pair of Yoruba Eshu Dance Wands

Yoruba People, Egba/Egbado Tribe, Abeokuta, Nigeria
circa 1920

height: (female) approximately 36cm, (male) 34cm; width: (both) approximately 7cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

acquired from the estate of Dr Peter Sharratt (d. 2014). Sharratt was a linguist and lecturer in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh who published on Renaissance French sculpture. In his private life, he was an avid collector of tribal art, building up his collection over fifty years. During that time, he bought from UK dealers, collectors and auction houses.

3303

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Dagger Handle & Case Associated with Colonel Fred Burnaby

North Africa/England
19th century

length: 43.4cm, height: 23.5cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

3994

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Nigerian Carved Wooden Maternity Figure, Lidded Bowl, possibly by the carver Agbonbiofe

Yoruba People, Nigeria
early 20th century

height: 48.5cm, depth: 22.5cm, width: 33.5cm

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Provenance

UK art market, private collection, Germany

4033

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Ashanti Cast Brass Gold Weight

Ashanti or Asante People, Ghana
18th-19th century

height: 7.3cm, width: 8cm, depth: 6cm, weight: 284g

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Provenance

UK art market

3664

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Pair of Engraved Silver Bracelets

Nubian People, North-East Africa
19th-early 20th century

external diameter: 8.6cm, internal diameter: 6.2cm, thickness: 1.2cm, combined weight: 119g

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Provenance

private collection, London.

4274

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Woman’s Iron Pubic Cover (Cache Sexe)

Kirdi and Matakam People, North Cameroon
19th-early 20th century

length: 37.5cm

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Provenance

private collection, UK

5561

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Circular Yoruba Divination Board (Opon Ifa)

Yoruba People, Nigeria
19th century

width: 35.5cm; length: 34cm and thickness: 2cm

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Provenance

UK art market

4196

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Three Solid Copper Mossi African Hairpins

Mossi People, Burkina Faso
19th century

7.5-9cm

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Provenance

Private collection, London.

5560

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Rectangular Yoruba Divination Board (Opon Ifa)

Yoruba People, Nigeria
19th-early 20th century

width: 40cm; length: 27cm and thickness: 2cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market