|Lega ivory figures
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Iginga figures are individually owned by the highest ranking society members, are the most coveted of all initiation objects. Some
anthropomorphic figures are called kalimbangoma. Each member of Musagi wa Kindi, a sublevel of the highest Bwami rank, owns a bone or
ivory human kalimbangoma figure as a sign of his status.
References: Art of the Lega
|Examples and information below for reference purposes
These objects are not in my collection
|SOTHEBY'S AFRICAN & OCEANIC ART
SALE N08132 11 Nov 05
LOCATION - New York
PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
A LEGA IVORY FIGURE
Estimate 5,000—7,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 9,000 USD
height 5in. 12.5cm
standing, of angular form overall with bands of incised zigzag motifs at the chest and crown, the spherical head pitched forward with
expressive features including a straight mouth and large dotted eyes; fine slightly glossy golden patina.
|Sotheby's - New York
African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art
Auction Date : May 12, 2005
Lot 96 : PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION A FINE AND RARE LEGA IVORY FIGURE
the torso of overall columnar form, and hollowed on the underside, with a tapering waist beneath the bulging abdomen and
the arms held close to the sides falling from the sloping shoulders in a zigzag motif, with the concave heart-shaped facial;
exceptionally fine honey brown patina with deep red-brown on the interior.
Acquired in Paris, 1966
Cf. Cameron (2001) for a series of Lega ivory figures representing the variety of forms. Compare (ibid.:figure 8.23) for a
related heart-shaped face and (ibid.:figures 8.23 and 8.31) for two figures which represent torsos of various forms,
although none with arms carved as distincly as in the offered lot.
Identifying the specific use of Lega ivory figures is nearly impossible without the context in which they were collected as
each piece is unique in terms of its nomenclature and significance. As Cameron (ibid:120) states, Lega wood and ivory
figures show the greatest range of form in all Lega art. The Lega themselves divide figures into several categories that
might contain other art forms and are owned by specific ranks of the Bwami society.
height 5 in. 12.5cm
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000 Price Realized: $ 24,000
|Christie's - Amsterdam
Auction Date : Sep 12, 2002
Lot 337 : A LEGA IVORY FEMALE FIGURE
Standing with the hands on the abdomen, the face with deeply
recessed circular eyes and deeply carved mouth, prominent
carved sex, dark golden patina 12cm. high
PROVENANCE Galerie Leloup, Paris.
Estimate: $ 5,820 - $ 7,760 Price Realized: $ 8,114
|Christie's - Amsterdam
Auction Date : Dec 11, 2001
Lot 289 : A FINE LEGA IVORY FIGURE
With armless tapered body, the head with concave heart-shaped face, a
triangular panel of notched ornament to the forehead, the legs slightly splayed,
dark golden patina 15cm. high.
Estimate:$ 2,700 - $ 4,500 Price Realized:$ 40,185
H. 16 cm
This piece is in the Tomkins Collection
The iginga statues in ivory are the exclusive and individual property of the initiated association bwami ... In the
absence of information collected at the time of the collection with his owner, it unfortunately impossible to identify
his specific meaning and his name. Of more general manner, all initiated lutumbo lwa kindi possesses at least a
statue of this type, obtained at the time of his accession to this very high rank. According to Biebuyck (in Tervuren,
1995: 381), these statues most often were inherited of a deceased parent after having been displayed on his
grave. Each is associated with a specific aphorism. They "recall the virtues of the initiated past generations, they
maintain rules and moral, social, lawful and philosophical norms defended by their predecessors; they are the links
between the past generations and present [and constitute at last] sacra, sacred objects, fill vital force" (idem).
Sotheby's Paris, June 6, 2005: lot 30
Collection Jenö and Rosa Studer-Koch, Zurich
Collected in 1937
Sotheby's Paris, African and Oceanic Art. Studer-Koch Collection. June 6, 2005: lot 30
|Art of the Lega
is a fantastic reference book on the Lega