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Mid-19th Century Tribal Zulu Lidded Vessel, South Africa

$120,000

About

Of the carved prestige objects produced by traditional South African artists, lavish vessels such as this example certainly rank among the most elaborate. Cut from a single block of wood, they are worked on a larger scale than most other objects from the region and bear an unusually high degree of surface decoration. The taut poise of the angled arms, the clearly demarcated cap, and the belly-like body perched on bent legs together provide a strong impression of abstract anthropomorphism. Considered icons of African art, Zulu vessels such as this are found in a number of the great museums and private collections worldwide, including the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their precise function is not known, but the dramatically ridged surface patterning they bear is similar to the carving found on many southern African snuff containers. Thus it has been suggested that this type of vessel may have been used by chiefs as a storage jar for tobacco or snuff. Other scholars have surmised that they were produced as examples of the crafts of Africa for the Great Exhibitions of 19th century, Europe.

Details

  • Dimensions
    Height: 21 in. (53.34 cm)Diameter: 14 in. (35.56 cm)
  • Style
    Tribal (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    Mid-19th Century
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1048014096341

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
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Located in New York, NY
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Established in 2008
1stDibs seller since 2014
25 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 6 hours
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