Ancestor Figure, Adu zatua
Northern Nias, Indonesia
19th Century
Provenance: Linden Museum, Stuttgart. Harry Franklin Gallery, Beverly Hills. Important American collection acquired from the Franklin Gallery in the 1970’s By descent to family member. Published: Patterns that Connect, Bruce Frank Primitive Art, 2017, fig. 6.

This iconic Nias figure is amongst the earliest I have handled. It is extremely rare to find examples with completely unaltered surfaces. It has a deeply encrusted patina caused from exposure, over a very long period of time, to soot and smoke coming from the fireplace. The sensitively carved body is surmounted by a hauntingly expressive face. The figure is grasping a cup in both hands, and its lower body is wrapped with a very old red trade cloth.

Height: 10 inches / 25.4 cm
SOLD / IN 7-03-17


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