Dave Dahl Collection

Instagram: @davedahlcollection

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Cross River Mask from Nigeria
DDC_0386
11.5” x 7.5” x 3” & 0.5lb

ex Private Collection

This mask is very oxidized, dry, and light. It depicts a Portuguese soldier, I think. I know it’s from Nigeria, but not sure of the tribe.

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Senufo Kpelie Mask from Côte d’Ivoire
DDC_0064
15” x 7” x 4.5” & 1lb

Former private collection, Massachussetts, USA, acquired from J.J. Klejman, New York, April 1974
ex Private collection, Paris
ex Christophe Rolley, France

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Attie Couple Figure from Côte d’Ivoire
DDC_0470
11″ x 5″ x 2″ & 2 lbs

This beauty was one of my earliest authentic tribal art purchases. I got it directly from Italian dealer, Olivier Castellano when he visited my shop in around 2017. Still a favorite—and quite rare.

ex Olivier Castellano
Publication: La region Lagunaire by Adrian Schlag September 2016

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Baule Female Figure from Côte d’Ivoire
DDC_0622
15.5” x 5” x 3.5” & 2lbs

Published Chefs-d’oeuvre de l’art African pg. 112

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Baule Female Figure from Côte d’Ivoire
DDC_0212
13.25” x 2.5” x 2.5” & 2.5lbs

ex Private Collection

I have a large collection of Baule figures and masks. Notice the elegant style of Baule carvers. When I first began collecting, I didn’t even care about figures—all I wanted was aggressive and mysterious masks. As I got into collecting, my tastes widened. Baule art is a good illustration of that.

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Yoruba Ancient Veranda Post from Nigeria
DDC_0600
56” x 7” x 14” & 75lbs

ex Private Collection, Published in situ in 1946 by William Bueller Fagg
Exhibited at San Francisco Tribal Art Show 2016

The veranda post that was the partner to this one sold in Sotheby’s a few years back for around $400k. I have no intention of selling it—it’s probably my most important piece. Maybe a museum will get it one day.

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Yoruba Eshu Pair from Nigeria
DDC_0673 (left) & DDC_0675 (right)
13” x 4.5” x 4” & 2lbs
13” x 5” x 5” & 2lbs

ex Private Collection

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Songye Figure from DR Congo
DDC_4851
32.5” x 9” x 10” & 45.5lbs

ex Private Collection

This big Songye is one my favorites. I’ve debated with myself whether it is authentic for years. But the interest shown by long-time dealers and collectors as well as my own study have made me more and more convinced that it is not only good, but great.

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Dan Kran Guere Mask from Liberia
DDC_ 0347
11” x 6” x 6” & 2 lbs

Dan (and sub-tribes like Guere and Kran) are probably the largest group of tribes I have collected. There’s a lot of variation in styles, but there are features that indicate certain tribes. This wonderful 3D mask seems like a cross between Kran and Guere—even Wobe. If you know any more, please let me know.

ex Jean-Paul Agogué, Paris, France
ex Fily Keita

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Mende Sande Sowei Helmet Mask from Sierra Leone
DDC_ 0477
17” (36” w/ raffia) x 10” x 10” & 5.5lbs

Sowei masks are carved by men but worn solely by women in the Mende Sande Society. The Sande society trains and prepares young women for adulthood. This monochrome mask is danced during a coming of age ceremony and serves as a connection to the spirit world. The Sowei spirit is thought of as the healer, teacher, judge and symbol of authority.

ex Private Collection

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Kuba Ndop Figure from DR Congo
DDC_4889
27″ x 9″ x 8″ & 21.5 lbs

Ndop statues are probably the most admired of all Kuba art forms. According to Wikipedia, “They are not naturalistic portrayals but are intended as representations of the king’s spirit and as an encapsulation of the principal of kingship.”

Each king chooses an emblem during his supremacy that is sculpted into each ndop, along with a recognizable geometric motif pattern. This makes it easy to identify who the sculpture portrays and what reign it represents.

At least that’s what they say. I really don’t know what is fact or fiction. Do you?

ex William Postar – VAXKZ – M-182

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Lwena Maternity Figure from Angola
DDC_4122
11.5″ x 3.5″ x 3″ & 1 lb

Kind of the opposite of the mask in the previous post, this figure is elegant and essentially a perfect carving. I’ve learned to appreciate a wide range of tribal sculptures from aesthetically pleasing items like this one to the very brute like the Bamana mask.

ex Private Collection

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