Ogbodo enyi mask, north Igbo an from Nigeria.
This very rare mask, has in its front part two statuettes, man and woman.
Standing, inscribed in each lobe of heart in relief, only known copy with two characters. These two characters with marked sexes, elbows folded against the body, striated hairstyle for the female character. Both of them with their mouths open, showing their teeth, the bodies well detached projecting backwards, boldly articulated volumes.
The other highly schematized part, presents an elephant head, made up of geometrical elements with high relief, conical eyes emerging from the plateau where the trunk can be found. Big mouth, completed on each side by the tusks. On the sides two spirals and bisected ridges in high relief, perhaps corresponding to scarifications (spirals that can sometimes be found in IGBO masks).
Beautiful brown patina in some places, showing the long use of the mask, remains of eggshell on the higher part, following sacrificial libations honoring the mask.
Cubism and realism meet and complement each other in aesthetics.
Origin : Herman S.Trullu (Nimes) collection
To see : for a very similar mask but with only one character
Loudmer sale june 1989 Paris, lot N° 80
In Remnants of ritual 2003 page 22 N° 51
In Art d’Afrique Noire by Marie Louise Bastin 1984 page 206 (probably from the same hand)
Galerie Helene Kamer « masques éléphant IGBO exposition 1980, page 19
8 500 €