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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Towards a reassessment of the dating and the geographical origins of the Luso-African ivories, fifteenth to seventeenth centuries
Author:Mark, PeterISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:West Africa
consumer goods
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/history_in_africa/v034/34.1mark.pdf
Abstract:Fifty years ago, a group of 100 ivory carvings from West Africa was first identified by the English scholar William Fagg as constituting a coherent body of work. Fagg proposed the descriptive label 'Afro-Portuguese ivories'. Then, as now, the provenance and dating of these carved spoons, chalices, horns and small boxes posed a challenge to art historians. Historical documents soon made clear that the ivories were associated with Portuguese commerce in Sierra Leone. Today approximately 150 works have been identified as belonging to the 'corpus' of carved ivories. Although the sobriquet 'Afro-Portuguese' remains the most common appellation, the pieces should more appropriately be referred to as Luso-African ivories, as they were created by African sculptors working within Africa. Nevertheless, the artists were clearly responding to a hybrid Luso-African cultural presence that was first established on the West African coast in the late 15th century. This article analyses information on the dating and the provenance of the Luso-African ivories, as well as various historical interpretations. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]