Auctioneers and Appraisers

Dogon Shrine Figure,






American Indian & Ethnographic Arts - 3099B
Date / Time :
May 05, 2018 10:00AM


Dogon Shrine Figure, Bandiagara, Mali, classical period, 14th to 19th century, sculptured tree root, with a dry and in parts heavily encrusted patina, ht. 23 in. (59.0 cm).

Provenance: Philippe Guimiot, Brussels, Belgium.
Estimate $40,000-50,000

Note: According to Mr. Guimiot, "In this work, the Dogon sculptor has discovered a human form in the haphazard, twisted natural shape of a tree root; the sculptor has limited himself to cutting a notch in the upper part of the root to bring forth the simple, powerful shape of a neck and head; in this way, he has helped the figure emerge from beneath the calloused skin of the root. It should be emphasized that the Dogon sculptors, were not merely artists endowed with sensitivity, inspiration, and creative talent. They were demiurges, communicating with the spirits of the bush and the ancestral world on behalf of the tribal group. Between the hands of these sculptors the ancestral spirits could take material form, appearing within statues, figures carved in high relief, or other protective objects. As avowed intermediaries, there demiurges were able-with a few blows of an adze-to discover a guardian spirit hidden within the trunk of a tree. Why not also in the root of a tree?"

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Philippe Guimiot, Africa, Bandiagara, Communes of Mali, Culture, Dogon, Dogon people, Ethnic groups in Mali, Languages of Mali, Mali, Brussels, Belgium