Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 13

Price Realized: $ 4,800
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,500 - $ 10,000
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION--SLAVE CULTURE.) Antique American burl bowl, incised with African designs along the lip. Burl bowl, possibly pecan, 16 inches in diameter; wide (1-1/8 inch) lip with repeating African design; two old metal 'patches', lovely old patina. Mississippi, circa late 18th, early 19th century

Additional Details

A rare old American wood burl bowl with repeated West African 'Adinkra' symbols incised along the bowl's lip. Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan of Nigeria and the Gyaman of Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa, that represent concepts or aphorisms. The designs on this bowl most resemble the Adinkra symbols 'Fawohodie,' signifying independence or freedom and 'Fihankra,' (house or compound) signifying security and safety. Similar designs can be seen in Clementine M. Faik-Nzuji's book Tracing Memory, a Glosary of Graphic Signs and Symbols in African Art and Culture (Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1996). Adinkra symbols can be found on many of the objects of material culture of West Africa, from fabrics and pottery even to the complex designs of ritual scarification. The influence of African design in general can be found in the material culture of the Southern United States of the 18th and 19th centuries and is well documented in John Michael Vlach's Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts (Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978.) Provenance: private collector to the consignor, obtained from the now Museum in South Carolina. Obtained by the Museum from a Mississippi plantation.