Lot 101A: 20th C. African Pende Wood / Metal Prestige Axe
October 27, 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pende culture, ca. early 20th century CE. This is a scepter, also known as a prestige axe, that is designed to be a more elaborate form of a true battle axe. To the educated viewer (a member of the Pende culture), it would instantly denote the origin and authority of the person wielding it. The shaft has been carved into a face at the top out of whose mouth juts a montrous tongue: the crescent-curved steel blade. There is an additional eye carved into the back of the shaft. Size: 10.75" W x 20.5" H (27.3 cm x 52.1 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Dan Collier Collection, New York
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Condition Report: The wood has a heavy aged dark patina; there is some damage (possibly intentional) to the head. The blade has patina but is still sharp.