Enquiry about object: 9506

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    Akan Carved Wooden King or Chief Figure

    Asante (Ashanti) sub-group of the Akan people, Ghana
    early 20th century and possibly earlier

    height: 30.8cm, width: 7.4cm, depth: 14.2cm, weight: 560g

    Available Enquire


    UK art market

    This well-carved male figure shows the figure with a high headdress or hat, holding a pierced state sword in the right hand, with sandals usually reserved for royalty, and seated on an asipim chair, also reserved for royalty. As such the figure most likely is that of a king or chief.

    The figure has been carved with small, round eyes, and three neck rings.

    The asipim chair, sandals, sword, headdress and other parts of the body have been darkened with pigment.

    Such a figure most probably was stored in an altar room, and possibly belonged to a a chief himself.

    The sculpture was obtained in the UK. The UK was the colonial power in Ghana and so it is likely that the item arrived in the UK during colonial times.

    It is a beautiful and well-carved example with a splendid patina.


    Cole, H. M. & D. H. Ross, The Arts of Ghana, Regents of the University of California, 1977.

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