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No. 1345
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Publication: 1914. Labouret, H. and Institut Ethnographique International de Paris. "Notes contributatives à l'étude du peuple Baoulé. (Suite et fin)" [part I of II]." Revue d'Ethnographie et de Sociologie., No. 5-6.

Original language: French

Caption translation: 10. Chair with curved backrest and detail of its backrest.

Caption: 10. Chaise à dossier incurvé et détail de son dossier.

Text translation: Finally, one encounters in Baoulé two types of chairs. The first one comprises a seat made from a thick board resting on four carved legs; the back legs extend out and support a curved backrest, usually decorated on the outside by sawtooth carvings and at the two ends by the head of a bird or caiman (fig. 10). (p. 87)

Text: «On rencontre enfin au Baoulé deux genres de chaises. La première comprend un siège formé d'une planche épaisse reposant sur quatre pieds tournés; ceux de derrière se prolongent et supportent un dossier incurvé, généralement orné à l'extérieur d'une dent de scie sculptée, et aux deux extrémités d'une tête d'oiseau ou de caïman (fig. 10). » (p. 87)
Illustration technique: studio engraving

Publication page: 88

Publication plate/figure: fig.10

Keywords:
• Côte d'Ivoire (Country, region, place)
• carved wood (Materials and techniques)
• backrest (Notable features)
• bird motif (Notable features)
• chair (Object name, type)
• gamble (Object name, type)
• seat (Object name, type)
• Baule (Style, culture group)
• Guro (Style, culture group)

Comments:
Jim Ross, (4/16/2008): Somewhat similar chairs of the Guro rather than the Baule are discussed on pp486-489 of Eberhard Fischer's "Guro - Masks, Performance and Master Carvers in Ivory Coast" (2008).

Jim Ross, (12/18/2011):

See some similarity with "Baule Chief's Spirit Chair" in lot 31 in the Sotheby Parke Bernet catalogue of African & Oceanic Art for its November 9, 1979 New York auction, sale no. 4305.



Jim Ross, (2/6/2012):

Another similar chair of the Guro appears in lot 200 on p43 of Cornette de Saint Cyr catalogue of 5Mars 2004 Paris auction at Hotel Drouot.



Jim Ross, (2/2/2013):

See a section on "Wooden chairs" in  the Museum Rietberg, Zurich publication Guro by Eberhard Fischer (2008) 486-9 with a photograph of a similar chair (the faces being elongated human faces rather than fowl) on p486, ill. 557 with the following caption "Chair with decorated back, acquired in Duizra (H. 52 cm), private collection, Zurich."



Jim Ross, (11/8/2013):

 See a similar Guro chair with a carved curved back in the Juin 2004 Paris' Galerie Ratton-Hourdé exhibition catalogue Atlantes & Caryatides - Trônes D'Afrique Noire, 73 with the following caption on p72: "Gouro (Côte d'Ivoire). Hauteur: 50 cm."



Jim Ross, (5/31/2014):

 See color photograph of a similar Guro chair in African Seats edited by Sandro Bocola (1995) 71 & a black & white illustration on p171 fig 17. It's listed as being in a private Zurich collection. Caption with nice discussion.



Jim Ross, (6/3/2015): Similar chair appears in a large color photograph in the National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan Chinese/French exhibition catalog whose French title is Visions d'Afrique & whose French author is Hélène Joubert (2003-2004) 132, cat. 085 with the following caption: "Siège gande gouro (Côte d'Ivoire). Bois, metal. H: 50 cm; l: 64 cm; p: 44 c m. Collection particulière, Paris." (Same as object in 11/8/13 comment?)

Jim Ross, (11/23/2016): A full page color photograph of a similar stool but with much shorter legs appears in the Visions of Africa series entitled Guro by Anne-Marie Bouttiaux (2016) plate 60 with a plate entry on p135 which reads as follows: "Seat (gamble). Wood, H. 33.5 cm. Mina and Samir Borro Collection. Although theoretically reserved for the men, this kind of seat (gamble) could be used by a post-menopausal woman, as if the end of menstruation and therefore the impossibility of bearing children introduced her into the male world and conferred new dignity and status on her. These gamble were also the favorite seats for many masks when they were incarnated by a wearer and attended a sacrifice, for example. Certain dancers insisted on using them in the sacred forest, when they were transforming themselves into a masked being invested with a spirit. At such ritually important moments furniture imported from Europe would not be tolerated."