This Ashanti stool from Ghana features an unusual motif depicting a bird of prey. The surface of this stool exhibits a lovely smooth, golden patina.
Ex Private Collection, Switzerland
Estimated Period: First Half of 20th Century
It was the Ashante custom for every man and woman to have their own stool. Alongside their pragmatic use, the stools also have a spiritual meaning. They served as the seat of the owner’s soul. When the stool was not used, it was leaned against a wall in order to prevent other ‘souls’ passing by from sitting on it. Should a high dignitary pass away, they stool would be dyed black. This piece of furniture thus became a sacred object of recollection, of remembering one’s ancestors. It would hence be venerated, sacrificed and no one was allowed to sit on it.
Sandro Bocola, 'Afrikanische Sitze' pp. 35-36
There has been restoration work to parts of this stool
(Click on images to enlarge)