Wooden Pole with Abelam Ancestors
Large gable ornament of a man’s house carved with an ancestor figure, with a jutting ovoid head, surmounted by two parallel birds with disc shaped bodies and large downward curved beaks. Beneath him emerge two cursory arms. A smaller bird is seated upon his chest and adorned with a medallion pattern on body, framed upon his chest. The concentric circular abdomen is surrounded by bird heads with long pointed beaks. Another bird is sculpted, seated at his feet with wings splayed. Paint scheme is overall abstract in bold polychrome pigments of black, ocher red, yellow and white. East Sepik province, Papua New Guinea. Age crack, bird at base reattached. Not very old but very attractive and decorative piece. Provenance: Estate of Dr. Ruth Lax, NYC.
8 × 11 × 60 in