153 - Small owl

Nok

An outstanding piece! The animal representation is quite rare in the Nok tradition. We have been able to show you some however, either simple animal forms or anthropo-zoomorphic forms (ref. 137 or 152 for example). Here, it is a small owl in a realist fashion, but at the same time in the sculptural Nok tradition. Note the precision with which the small claws are represented. The wings are recognizable on both sides of the bird. Most notably, the expression of the owl which stares at the viewer, seems to be passing a message. The eyes, the ears, the nostrils, and the hooting beak are for the large part open and dug out. It is an incredible rare piece depicting an animal, very endearing and masterly.

H. 23 cm
Era and civilization: Nok

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