Guardian Figure, Mbulu-Ngulu Kota Obamba, Gabon, 19th century Wood, copper, brass H 57 cm Provenance: Charles Ratton, Paris; Pace Primitive, New York; private collection, USA (acquired from above in 1986)
An early and classical example of Kota Guardian figure which stands out from the corpus of the Obamba reliquaries for the accuracy of making and for the perfect balance of its parts. The face is a clean ellipse cutted by two large stripes of brass that give to the figure a severe and dreaming expression.
The great rigor of the sculpture can be noticed in the perfect geometry of the half-moon crescent and the elegant losanga at the bottom. Besides its impeccable pedigree, this sculpture must be regarded as one of the most expressive and pure example of this style.