16th Annual Auction Preview

Here is a sneak peek at the items that will be for sale at this year’s auction in Portland. There will be additional items for sale at different price points, as well as opportunities to make a donation of any amount. We hope to see you February 1st!



Fertility doll (value: $125.00)

Ashanti fertility dolls are one of the most identifiable forms of African Sculpture, to the European eye. Pregnant women carry these figures to ensure the beauty and health of their babies. The large disc head and abstracted features convey the stylized ideal of Ashanti beauty.



Purple Quilt 99”x75” (value: $400.00)

This lovely contemporary quilt is constructed using western techniques with beautiful vibrant African fabrics. The techniques were shared by a Swedish woman while visiting Ghana and passed from that original recipient to her daughter. We bought the quilt from that daughter and are thrilled to offer it here tonight.



 Bembe Mask from Zaire (Congo) 29” tall (value: $800.00)

This mask, deriving from the Bembe people, when the region now known as the Congo, was called Zaire, is a double figured mask that could mediate between the land of the living and the dead.  It was used in ceremonies to teach boys newly initiated into the world of adult men, how to relate to women and how to bring fertility and prosperity to the village.



2 Tall Modern Spirit spouses (value: $450.00)

The Baule of Cote D’Ivoire believe in a parallel spirit world. A husband and wife live together aware of their counterpart in the spirit world. If a couple begins to feel that things are awry in their marriage it is believed that one within the spirit world is jealous of the earthly man or woman and needs attending. To facilitate this, a carving is made to represent that spirit spouse and the earthly spouse spends time each week attending to them to appease the feelings of the offended.  These 2 tall male figures are a modern interpretation of this old tradition. The photographer and the businessman reflect the success they are experiencing in their life and should help insure that for the corresponding household in our earthly world.



Yoruba Tall Container Sculpture 40” tall (value: $550.00)

This tall sculpture combining two figures atop each other is a beautiful composition of forms. The resulting lidded bowl along with the gracious kneeling female form is a symbol of the fertility of the land and would be used to hold cola nuts for guests. This reflects the deeply valued tradition of hospitality in this Nigerian tribe.



Toad Necklace (value: $225.00)

This exquisite beaded necklace features West African beads, including glazed ceramic Ghanaian beads, recycled glass Ghanaian beads, Ivorian sand cast brass beads, and a fantastic toad pendant crafted in Cote d’Ivoir. Stephanie Roe, a local jewelry artist who began her career while visiting Ghana, created this incredible piece. She is also the granddaughter of Kathryn Roe Anansi’s founder.


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Male and Female Wedding Kente Cloths (pair) (value: $750.00)

Kente cloth is a Ghanaian textile that is traditionally linked with royalty, especially among the Ashanti and the Ewe peoples. Kente is woven as similar sized narrow strips, which are joined to form a large piece of cloth. These beautiful fabrics are wrapped and draped into the ceremonial garb of the chieftains and are still seen and worn for state and other important functions around the world. The fact that each strip is sewn together by hand attests to its quality and age. This pair would have been for a man and woman for their wedding. The small piece will need to be constructed into a garment to accompany the larger piece.



Baule Wedding Container 16.5” tall (value: $750)

This beautifully carved ceremonial container with lid was used for a presentation of gifts to the family of an intended bride.  The Baule people are known for the refinement of their carving giving far more attention to the fine details than many other tribes. The carved figures, as with all Baule figural work, represent the ideal of human form and elements. The Akan people, the larger group to which the Baule belong, migrated from Ghana in 1750 and make up the majority of the population in Cote d’Ivoire.



Nigerian Chief’s Beaded Cloak – 45 inches tall, 37 inches wide (value: $2000)

This magnificent Nigerian chief’s cloak is a unique acquisition for Anansi in the many years of our collecting articles of interest for sale. We acquired it from a collection that was brought to the US in the 1960’s. The cowry shells are recognized as coinage of their time and region. The represented figures of birds, crocodiles, fish and people are likely visual props for a tribal story shared orally down through time.



Dan Kran Beak Mask (value $125.00)

This mask is carved by the Dan /Kran people of Cote d’Ivoir and Liberia and exhibits many of their traditional forms such the triangular eyes, the protruding forehead and side cheeks. There are traces of kaolin on the mask. The condition of the mask makes it a great opportunity, as it is not a tourist mask but an authentic ceremonial mask.


Multi Figured Dogon Sculpture 33” tall by 21 inches wide (value $1200.00)

This incredible mask is stylistically clearly of the Dogon people from Mali. The Dogon people are an ancient tribe known for their elaborate ceremonial masks used for celebratory dances, which are performed by men of the tribe. The woman’s gesture with outstretched arms reaching skyward is usually interpreted as one of prayer and an effort to link earth and heaven. It has also been suggested that it might represent an appeal for rain. Anthropologists and art curators throughout the world know of Dogon masks. This piece has signs of use and age that indicate it was not produced for tourist trade.



West African Carved Hippo (value: $350.00)

This lovely carved hippo, made from a solid block of ebony, is carved to a have realistic appearance, then smoothed and polished. With this small totem, your mind can travel to the waterways of Africa and imagine a large group submerging and playing while you enjoy a “sun downer”.