Post by Jack Loomes on Apr 16, 2022 23:50:55 GMT
27 1⁄8 in. (69 cm.)
Cornell University, Ithaca, inv. no. 82-74-18
Private Collection, Canada
Guy Laliberté Collection
Germain, J., Arts anciens de l’Afrique Noire, vol. II, Montreal, 2004, pp. 32-33
Montreal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Afrique Sacrée I. Collections du MBAM, du Cirque du Soleil et du Musée Redpath de l’Université McGill, 6 June 2006 - 7 September 2008
In Asante royal art, the ceremonial afena sword is almost as important as the throne itself. A true element of regalia, its principal purpose was a political one, and it was mainly used at ceremonies and for the inductions of officials.
A symbol of power and prestige, this example demonstrates its exceptional character through the shagreen that adorns the handle, featuring two spheres (often covered with gilding or animal skins in similar examples). The preciousness of this ritual weapon resides in the precision and refinement with which the blade is sculpted. The twisted shaft leads to a blade tip that is both finely incised and punched through with a series of geometric cruciform and rhombic patterns, as well as a rare two-headed zoomorphic representation (probably of a crocodile). The sculptor’s remarkable mastery is also expressed through the play on solid and empty space along the blade.
This rare, emblematic artefact may be compared with that of the former collection of Isabel and Marshall Mount, analogous for its ‘braided’ shaft; or that of the former René David collection, which also asserts an iconographic zoomorphic decoration.
USD 3,000 – USD 5,000