Makonde Table, Tanzania
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Description of Significance:
The Makonde community, renowned for their wood carving, resides in the northeastern part of Mozambique and southeastern region of Tanzania. In this matrilineal society, children and inherited property are the responsibility of the women, and upon marriage, men move into their wives' village. They uphold an animistic form of ancestor worship as their conventional religion, which remains active. The Makonde, well-known for their wood artistry, traditionally create everyday household items, ritualistic figures, and masks from wood. Many of these carvings depict human figures, resonating with a Makonde myth that their ancestral mother was initially a wooden sculpture that miraculously came to life.
Jean-Pierre Hallet Collection
Jean-Pierre Hallet, intimately associated with Africa, perhaps more than any other westerner, was the owner of an African art collection and the founder of The Pygmy Fund. Born in 1927, Hallet was the offspring of Andre Hallet, a renowned Belgian artist who resided in the Congo. His early years were spent on the fringes of the Ituri rainforest in central Africa, playing with pygmy children. However, at the age of six, he had to leave his pygmy friends to pursue education in Europe, standing already as tall as an average adult pygmy in the forest.
In 1948, Hallet returned to Africa armed with a Sorbonne education and degrees in agronomy and sociology. He was then a young man of 21, towering at 6 feet 5 inches. What lay ahead was an extraordinary life journey. Hallet, a defender and protector of his pygmy companions, shared his life with them, mastering six indigenous languages in the process. His charisma was undeniable, captivating Tonight Show audiences during his guest appearance with Johnny Carson and catching the eye of photographers alongside Dwight Eisenhower. He penned three bestselling books, chronicling his adventurous lifetime.
From 1948 until his passing in 2007, Hallet dedicated himself to the collection of African art, a testament to his deeply ingrained connection to the continent.
- Handcrafted for use in Tanzania
- Depth: 14"
- Width: 16"
- Height: 21"
- Indigenous wood
About Antique African Art:
Hemingway Gallery regards antique African art as the best artistic expression of aesthetic beauty and storytelling throughout the known history of art. Aside from artistic taste, African art accrues value in different ways than other genres, including use in ceremonial settings as well as age. 50 years can be regarded as old or antique when it comes to wood masks and totems. Hemingway Gallery provides both authoritative insight and context into each artifact in the collection, possessing and readily exhibiting direct, intimate knowledge of the source and pedigree. The goal is to preserve and curate one-of-a-kind artifacts of importance while creating a platform for the acquisition of spectacular unique pieces within financial reach.
Hemingway Gallery ethically sources all the fine art in our collection. Our pricing correlates directly to the asking prices of artists, artisans and art dealers in the various African countries we collect from and the costs of importing the artwork to the U.S. We need to change the idea that artists should be paid pennies for their fine art just because it comes from Africa. Paying a fair price in Africa is our number one priority and our pricing reflects that.
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