West Africa, Benin and Nigeria, Yorubaland, Yoruba peoples, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A handsome hand-carved wooden sculpture of a horse and rider painted in hues of ochre, chocolate brown, orange-red, and black. Wearing a flat-topped headdress with a zigzagged periphery and a long-sleeved tunic, the equestrian leans forward as his skillfully delineated fingers hold the horse's reins in one hand and a whip or club in the other. His visage features a broad nose, heavy-lidded eyes, a full-lipped smile, and a pointed beard. Alternatively, the saddled horse stands on four slender legs with a spindly tail at his posterior. His stylized head features petite ears, incised coffee-bean-shaped eyes, and a wide mouth fitted with a bit attached to his reins. There are several drill holes through the horse's feet, perhaps created to attach this sculpture to another object. Size: 6" W x 10.375" H (15.2 cm x 26.4 cm); 11.125" H (28.3 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Arcadia, California, USA collection, acquired prior to 2000
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Expected surface wear as shown. Otherwise, excellent and intact.