The most imposing piece in a collection of bronze Gan jewelry was preempted by the Musée du Quai Branly. A minuscule gold pendant also stood out.
Gan people, Burkina Faso. Bronze bracelet in the form of a coiled snake, h. 30.5 cm/12 in.
This bracelet in the form of a coiled snake came from gallery owner Maine Durieu's collection of jewelry and bronze objects by the Gan people. It was the most coveted artifact, and as a result, was keenly fought for and finally preempted by the Quai Branly Museum for €65,000. To experts' knowledge, this impressive piece (h. 30.5 cm/12 in) is the largest recorded bracelet made by the West African Gan people and is remarkable for its refined carving as well as its size. Incidentally, metalwork and ceramics were Maine Durieu's great passion.
Bidders then discovered a minuscule Koulango gold pendant (h. 2 cm/0.8 in) in the form of a stylized anthropomorphic figure. Shown with bent legs, probably on its knees, hands resting on its thighs, this is typical of an iconography specific to this ethnic group from northwest Ivory Coast. The fact that it was created in gold is not typical, as this type of ornament is generally in bronze—an uncommon aspect that earned it €26,650. Maine Durieu's tastes led her to many cultures, as witness a pair of Lobi-jaa statues (h. 55 cm/21.7 in. and 53 cm/20.8 in) from Burkina Faso (€23,400), a wooden Baoulé statue (h. 35 cm/20.9 in) with its original polychromy (€16,900) and a Dogon figure (h. 23 cm/9 in), also in wood, with an iron spike driven into the top of its skull, which fetched €14,950.