The Cobbs, 27 April 2013 – a Mende sleeper

Under the direction of Scott Rodolitz this New Hampshire auction house recently had its first African art sale. You can download the catalogue here.

Of particular importance in this auction was a rare Mende staff with an early documented provenance. It was brought to Canada from Africa by Capt. J.L. Boddy and presented to E.D. Manchee in 1907 (as stated by his 1925 will). Only a handful of these staffs are currently known, most of them being much younger than this one. It sold for $ 10,800.

Mende staff Cobbs
Mende staff Cobbs head

UPDATE: Christie’s will be selling another early collected (ca. 1885) Mende staff next month.

In the same auction two nice Nupe posts (mounted upside down) remained unsold with an estimate of $ 900- 1,200.

Nupe posts Cobbs

(all images courtesy of The Cobbs)