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Bookend, Figure, Animal, D88.209

Physical Description

Carved wooden elephants. Wood is dense and heavy and of dark appearance. Likely a naturally dark wood though possibly somewhat highlighted with shoe polish. Other side of elephant is a rectangular slab which is one end of bookend. Eyes of elephant are white disks (ivory/bone?) with small brown dot in centre. 2 holes for tusks but tusks are missing. (NOTE: 2 ivory/bone tusks are in box same storage box. Unclear if these or one of these is for this bookend or its partner mirror image.) Much of carving has been polished/sanded smooth with check marks defining ventral side and around trunk/tusks. General appearance is somewhat of a caricature of an elephant but rather nicely done. Condition appears to be unused or slightly used. A few very small white paint(?) spatters are on upper left side of head & ear.

Research Notes

Original documentation suggests NE Nigeria (Bornu). This type of carving can be found all over the continent of Africa Wood (hardwood-teak/mahogany(?) and ivory/bone(?). Bookends likely for commercial/tourist trade. Carved wooden elephant. Wood is dense and heavy and of dark appearance. Likely a naturally dark wood though possibly somewhat highlighted with shoe polish. Right side of elephant is a rectangular slab which is one end of bookend. Eyes of elephant are white disks (ivory/bone?) with small brown dot in centre. 2 holes for tusks but tusks are missing. (NOTE: 2 ivory/bone tusks are in box same storage box. Unclear if these or one of these is for this bookend or its partner mirror image.) Much of carving has been polished/sanded smooth with check marks defining ventral side and around trunk/tusks. General appearance is somewhat of a caricature of an elephant but rather nicely done. Condition appears to be unused or slightly used. A few very small white paint(?) spatters are on predominately right side of head & ear. —Joel A Vanderburg

Provenance

Donated
Locality

Measurements

Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (a - PL bookend): 98.7 x 83.3 x 126mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (b - PR bookend): 100.1 x 78.3 x 123.3mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (c - tusk (short)): 32 x 5 x 5mm
Maximum dimensions (H x W x D) (c - tusk (short)): 39.5 x 5.5 x 5.5mm

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