This fine high-backed throne from Tanzania is surmounted by a female head with a prominent ridged coiffure. A series of punctuated decorations run down the length of the hairstyle. The chair’s arched legs are joined together with a configuration of three diamond-shaped structures. A series of contrasting panels, engraved with zig-zag and linear designs, adorn the back of the chair. The surface of the chair exhibits a well-worn patina.
A very similar example, possibly from the same hand, can be found in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (USA). This chair was collected by a Belgian military officer in Lake Tanganyika in 1919.
In Tanzania, elaborate high-backed stools generally signify the governing authority of their owners; in effect, becoming thrones used in official ceremonies.
Ex Private Collection, UK
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