500 Gallery
Timed Auction

November Collection: African Tribal Art

Fri, Oct 28, 2022 02:00PM EDT - Thu, Nov 10, 2022 12:00PM EST
Lot 9

Seated Male Figure, Bangwa People, Cameroon

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$20,000 $1,000
$50,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000
African Tribal Art: Bamileke/Bangwa People, Cameroon : Lefem memorial portrait figure of an important man. Carved wood, worn patina and pigment, circa 1900.

The animated expression and intent gaze of the sitter depict a person of strong and outgoing character. The hair above is carved in a coiled coiffure. His neck is encircled by multiple rings of beads, and the uplifted forearm is adorned with bracelets which, in life, may have been carved from a single elephant's tusk. The stool upon which he sits has a single leg, but its seat is decorated with geometric designs.

The piece is an excellent example of the large figures of the Bangwa people. Such sculpture are generally referred to as Leffem, after the society which is tasked with their keeping and use during ceremonies and celebrations. The figures are simply carved to show the symbols of rank (Jewelry, pipes, etc.) of the person represented, but the faces are highly individualized and often carved from life to resemble the sitter.
Ref: BANGWA FUNERARY SCULPTURE Robert Brain and Adam Pollock.

Dimensions: 36H x 10W x 5D (inches)

Provenance: From the private collection of Massachusetts Gentlemen.

NOTE: Please inspect the photos, which supplement the written description and show the condition of this lot.

***VIDEO: To see a 3D video of this item, copy and paste the link below into your search browser:

Provenance: Private Collection, Massachusetts, Private collection, New York

Dimensions: See Description Good condition with some minor wood losses, cracks, wear and evidence of age.
Note: Please inspect the photos, which supplement the written description and show the condition of this lot.

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.

Available payment options

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Amex
  • Diners
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Union Pay