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Fine Early 20th C. Wooden Agni Female Figure

Africa, Ivory Coast, Lagoon people, ca. early 20th century CE. Carved in the round from a single piece of wood, a nude Agni (also Anyi) female figure presenting angular shoulders, perky breasts, delineated musculature, and striated/curvilinear/fretted raised markings - perhaps indicating scarification - adorning her cheeks, chest, back, abdomen, and neck. In addition, the front side of her neck is modeled with ripples or rings. She stands with arms at her side, and muscular legs slightly apart, facing front with closed coffee-bean shaped eyes flanking her relatively naturalistic nose above a tranquil, slight smile - all topped by a fanciful coiffure/headdress. The surface presents a rich dark patina with some remains of kaolin. The attention to detail as well as the abstract interpretation of the body of this figure is especially impressive. Size: 13.625" H (34.6 cm); 14.875" H (37.8 cm) on included custom stand.

Figures like this example are believed to possess supernatural powers and belong to groups of various age associations. Oftentimes they were the property of a soothsayer/healer. This piece was probably created to send messages to spirits believed to rule the world.

Condition: Old loss to figure's left foot. Expected surface wear with scuffs and abraded areas commensurate with age and use.

Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection

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