Extraordinary pair of Zela figures, Congo

  • Price on request
  • Provenance: Collection Michel Koenig / Collection Jos Humblet, Belgium
  • Ancestor Couple 
  • Zela
  • Congo
  • 45 & 53 cm
  • Wood
  • Wooden base

Medium hard, yellowish wood with a noble shiny patina. The cap-like coiffures of the sculptures are typical of the Zela, as are the ritual scarifications on the front and back of her compactly elegant bodies. These scarification patterns are rather coincidental, i.e. they do not follow any schematic guidelines. 

 

The Zela live in the province of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo and are neighbours of the Luba, Tabwa, Hemba and other small groups near the Luba. Their art is influenced by these surrounding tribes and they have comparable types of carvings, themes, applications and functions. 

 

Male-female representatives of the ancestors are very rare in the art of the Luba and their neighbors - this makes this pair a very special overall object. 

 

Apart from the mutilation of the male genitals, the statutes are in very good condition. These mutilations were carried out by the Belgian missionaries after they had confiscated ritual objects. 

 

Extraordinary Zela Couple from Jos Humblet Collection

About Jos Humblet

Belgian art collector and dealer of Belgian paintings from the period 1880-1930. Since 1993 collector of African art.

About Michel Koenig

Dealers and collectors in Brussels, Belgium. Began trading in non-European art in 1968. Focus on Congo. He closed his gallery in July 2008 and retired to Liège.

Note: Please fill out the fields marked with an asterisk.