Lot 609

A Yoruba Ijebu hand bell omo Nigeria bronze, of human head form with a part diced coiffure with three straight and one scrolled ribbed protrusions and a loop handle, the face with opposed crescents to the forehead, narrow almond shape eyes and double linear scarifications from the mouth, the conical neck with a concentric circle pendant necklace, 19cm high. Provenance Maurice Bonnefoy, Paris Christie's, Amsterdam, Tribal Art, 12 September 2002, lot 262. Exhibited Iwa Yoruba, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, 1983, p.11, no.67. Literature Robbins, W.M., and Nooter, N.I., African Art in American Collections, Washington, D.C., 1989, p.251, fig.664. According to Robert Thompson (1970) the Omo is said to represent remote ancestors, although each chief must have a face bell cast, which will be later worn by his son over his right shoulder resting on the left hip of the wearer. The Omo above has the double crescent to the forehead and scarifications from the mouth are symbols of the Oshugbo (Ogboni)secret society prominent in the Ijebu area.