500 Gallery
Timed Auction

Prestige Collection: Modern & Impressionist

Fri, Nov 10, 2023 10:00AM EST - Thu, Nov 16, 2023 02:00PM EST
Lot 109

Helmet Mask w/Umbrella Top, Yoruba, Nigeria

Estimate: $2,500 - $3,500

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$20,000 $1,000
$50,000 $2,500
African Tribal Art: Gelede Helmet Mask with Umbrella Top, Yoruba People, Nigeria. Carved wood and pigments, heavily patinated with libations, Late 19th Century/Early 20th Century. The mask rests on a custom-made steel display stand.

A snake coils around the back of the helmet head, which is surmounted by a figural group. The central large figure represents a man of importance, seated, with a smaller female figure holding a baby seated to his left. The surrounding three figures stand in attendance, two of them holding what appears to be swaddled infants. All of the figures bear impressive coiffures which buttress each other and support an enormous flower-like umbrella structure above them. The figures show facial scarification and have carved indications of bracelets.

Overall, the mask shows traces of multi-colored pigments which show through the heavy patination of libations.

38H x 16W x 16D (inches).

Private Collection, Massachusetts, Private Collection, New York


Aged condition with evidence of handling and use, including minor losses on the lower rim.

NOTE: If documentation is not listed, the lot is sold without documents.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions prior to bidding. Color fidelity of photos presented is not guaranteed. Lack of a condition statement does not imply that a lot is perfect. Please examine photos, read descriptions, and contact the Gallery with any questions prior to bidding. All sales are final. Winning bidders will be sent invoices from our gallery. Credit cards are accepted for invoices under $1000. Higher amounts must be paid by e-check or wire transfer.

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