I recently came across this old advertisement for the French liqueur Pernod in the Belgian magazine HUMO. Looking at the interior and outfits I would guess it is from the late 1970s? The tagline (in dutch) reads: “Real luxury is not to have money but to be able to enjoy it” and we see a collector proudly showing his latest purchase (a Pende kiwoyo-muyombo mask from D.R. Congo). His friend is not really looking directly at the mask, and I don’t really know how to interpret the facial expression of the woman, but I guess the most important is that they are all enjoying a glass of pastis. That tagline does not make much sense either as one does first need money to be able to enjoy it. But, anyhow, we can all agree that having the pleasure of owning a collection of African Art indeed is a luxury to celebrate.
Those were the days marketeers clearly were convinced collecting African art was a sophisticated activity with which their target audience wished to be associated. I wonder if this was a real interior (it does look like it) and who the owner was? Besides the Pende mask, one can also spot (from left to right) a seated Luba bowl-bearer, a Binji helmet mask (a rare thing), a Grassfields mask from Cameroon, a kifwebe mask from the Songye, a Suku hemba mask, a Ngombe sword, and part of a Zande throwing knife. I think the sword is the one recently exhibited at the Musée du quai Branly (see below), but I could be mistaken as they all look rather alike. Is any of you sleuths able to identify any of the other objects ?