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Bruce Frank Primitive Art
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Amulet Figure

Sasak tribe, Lombok, Indonesia
Early 20th century

Provenance: Fred ten Houten collection, Netherlands, (1916-1995), INV. Number TH 724. Gerrardus Museum van der Leeuw, Groningen, The Netherlands

The Sasak are most known for their inventive betel nut crushers they create. Much rarer to find are the small talismans they produced and hung in their houses. This early example is very expressive and powerful. With its oversized eyes and grimacing mouth, it was created to ward away harmful spirits. A band of reptile skin is wrapped around its neck, adding to the figure’s magical potency. Floral motifs are carved throughout the sculpture, including underneath its base. The patina is deep and dark, attesting to its considerable age.

Amulet Figure

Sasak tribe, Lombok, Indonesia
Early 20th century

Provenance: Fred ten Houten collection, Netherlands, (1916-1995), INV. Number TH 724. Gerrardus Museum van der Leeuw, Groningen, The Netherlands

The Sasak are most known for their inventive betel nut crushers they create. Much rarer to find are the small talismans they produced and hung in their houses. This early example is very expressive and powerful. With its oversized eyes and grimacing mouth, it was created to ward away harmful spirits. A band of reptile skin is wrapped around its neck, adding to the figure’s magical potency. Floral motifs are carved throughout the sculpture, including underneath its base. The patina is deep and dark, attesting to its considerable age.