Kota Figures are handcrafted by the Mahongwe and Kota people from wood, iron, copper, brass sheeting and wire. The Kota and Mahongwe live mainly in the east of Gabon, and to a lesser extent in Congo. This sculpture primarily was designed to protect the owner.
They are always of a highly abstract form - and consist of wood sculptural figures which are almost entirely encased in metalwork. At the center of the face are projecting eyes defined by brass bosses and a triangular brass nose. Although three-dimensional, the representation occupies a relatively shallow spatial plane.
Kota Reliquary figures have a flattened head with issues from a cylindrical neck with an open lozenge body section below. The metal covering of the carved wooden figure has a variety of coloured metals that are chased with geometric motifs. No two figures are entirely identical.
Kota reliquary figures played an important role in the development of modern European abstraction. Examples of Kota sculptures were visible at the Musée d'ethnographie du Trocadéro at the time of Pablo Picasso’s famous visit there in 1907. African sculptures of this type obviously contributed to Picasso's revolutionary painting "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon"
This fine vintage decorative sculpture will sadly have to be confined to UK posting only. It has some age to it - and not a modern tourist piece. It has a nice patina of age to the metal and the wood. It is probably about mid-20th century in date. An attractive example in good condition and a larger size of display - this is reflected in my asking price for this item.
Dimensions: The height of the figure (not including the square base) is 20 inches (51 cm) Width at the widest point is 9 inches (23 cm) and the depth is about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm). Measurement of the black base is 6 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches.
It is 1.7 kg in weight (unpacked).