This dramatic and colorful beaded vessel would have formed part of the display of wealth and prestige of a Fon of the Cameroon Grasslands. It would have been part of the kingdom’s royal treasury and displayed near the throne with a multitude of other beaded symbols of authority. As well as serving as a display of spiritual and political power the vessel would have been used on ceremonial occasions.
The swirling pinwheels on the body of the gourd and the distinctive palette of green, blue, white and pink relate it to two examples in American Museums, the Newark Museum of Art and the piece it most closely relates in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.The provenance of the vessel in Washington and of this vessel is the Pace Gallery and given their resemblance one assumes they are from the same Cameroon Treasury.
Provenance: Private Collection, Pace Gallery
Like examples are in the National Museum of African Art;2000 14-1. , Washington DC and the Newark Museum of Ar;: inv. No: 82.115