H. 38 cm
Luba arrow-holder, Democratic Republic of the Congo
H. 14 15/16 in
- Loudmer-Poulain, Paris, December 18, 1975, lot 104.
- Ben Heller, New York
- Private American collection, acquired from him on February 16, 1982
- Christie's, Paris, June 19, 2014, lot 202
An object of regalia par excellence, the Luba arrow-holder has several meanings. It is the hunter's accessory in its primary sense; a royal accessory during ceremonies; a metaphor for supreme power; and finally, it connects the earth to the world of genies and spirits.
Of great delicacy, the standing figure represents a woman exuding great interiority. The face is surmounted by a trident. The hands are elegantly gathered at the level of the abdomen. The long bust shows numerous scarifications of great finesse. The protruding chest is decorated with a delicate carved necklace. The numerous horizontal incisions on the lower abdomen recall the importance of fertility for the Luba people.