Mende, Sierra Leone
Previous Collection: William Siegmann, Former curator of African Arts at the Brooklyn Museum.
Snuff containers from the Mende people are not common; especially 19th century examples sculpted from Ivory. The head with diminutive face is classically conceived with a traditional Mende coiffure. The arms are carved into the body truncated about the waist creating a torso that has poker-worked circle dot patterns. The ivory has developed a wonderful warm patina from handling and the high-points are rounded precisely as they should be when handled over time.
This container stands 8" tall