Africa

Ville or Yombe from the DRC

Q:  Please share these images with Bob of African masks that we saw at an art opening in Cincinnati on Friday evening. (This one was priced at $1000, according to the label.)  John, 1301

A:  Here’s a nice find–  a Nganga Diphomba that comes from the Southwest part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a female version, but of course, it would be worn by a man. The character’s purpose is to reveal the reason for an accident, illness or death. I think it is well designed, colored and accessorized. For a mask like this you must determine whether it is an excellent reproduction or an authentic artifact. The former would lower the price somewhat, the latter might hit five figures. The third category for African masks are called airport art or tourist junk. They usually sell for 10 to 50 dollars each.  There is quite a difference in price between the three.

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