A rare Fon, altar, West Africa, Benin
for ancestor worship, formely seat ( presumably Akan origin) with four rectangular columns and one round in the middle, all completely wrapped with many cowrie shells on rectangular base with carved geometric motifs, the session has upright ends on both sides and similar decoration and three cowrie shell strings hanging on each side, Provenance: Dutch collector Van Halm, acquired in 1995, collected in situ by dealer in Lomé, Togo. Lit. S. Bocola ( red.), Afrikanische Sitze, München 1994, p. 17 no 39, for similar piece.
The form of the seat, resembles a chair whose shape, especially the raised ends, suggests the royal Ashanti throne.
wood, shell, kaolin, sacrifice remnants
light colour patina
West Africa, Benin
1st half 20th century
26 x 49 cm