The Collection

The Fang


Ntumu style, Northern Fang
Wood, Height 58cm

A very tall elongated figure. No decoration, showing off some very prominent and delicate wood grain. This statue was displayed for many years in a local museum which was destroyed through rioting in election contests. It hails from a village called Nyanga in the Ngounie Province, an area which is actually populated more by Punu people than Fang.


Ntumu Style, Gabon, Cameroon
Height 42cm without stalk

Dark brown patina, protruding navel. Regular enhanced patches on arms and forehead which held metal plates in the past, but were probably removed over the years for their monetary value.  There are ivory inlets on both sides of the neck which is quite unusual. Good condition, a really masterful old piece.


Ntumu Style, Gabon
Height 55cm without stalk

Shiny black patina with prominent features highlighted in lighter tones of brown. Superb understated design, two subtle brass arm bands are the only decoration. Good condition, a real masterpiece. I have seen one or two similar statues in books or at famous auction houses, but never in real life. This is a really special sculpture. There is a crack at the base and one leg was reattached, but the whole upper body is in excellent condition.

Northern Fang Guardian Statue

Ntumu Style, Gabon, Cameroon
Height 60cm

Natural patina, Extremely heavy wood, hands pointing towards navel. No decoration, outstanding fine detailed carving. Excellent condition. This statue came from a place called Nyanga in the southern Province of Ngounie, which is mainly populated by the Punu people. Fang from northern Gabon would have married Punu women (because they are so beautiful) and settled in their area. As Fang reliquaries belong to individual families and not the tribe, they made their way with the individuals who settled in a new area. 


Ntumu Style, Gabon
Height 51cm

Natural patina, no decoration. Left front foot, lip and nose slightly chipped, part of the back of statue quite severely damaged from water seeping in the shrine where it was kept. A very powerful piece, I have personally seen local Fang people holding it in their hands and praying to their forefathers, and that was only a few years ago. Statues with natural patina were traditionally placed onto the village tree during important meetings and ceremonies. Each village has a large tree located next to the main communal area.


Ngumba style, Gabon
Height 43 cm without stalk

Natural patina, no other decoration, holding a cup. Excellent condition and detail despite its age. This statue hails from the village Ekoba near Makokou in the Ogoue-Ivindo Province. It is a sparsely populated area, Pygmies living in surrounding forests. Generally Fang live in family units, but in this particular area they have tribal chiefs who would have looked after the statues for the community. This statue was not attached to a basket, but used during important ceremonies and gatherings to provide guidance from the forefathers. A real masterpiece.


Ngouma style, Equatorial Guinea
Height 50cm without stalk

Holding a horn, a square beard, metal eye insert. Natural dark patina, quite rough and robust finish with distinctive detail. This statue is quite different to most, from the unusual almost neutral colour to the very simple hairstyle which looks rather insignificant, as most Fang sculptures  traditionally show elaborate hair styles. Excellent condition, very heavy dark wood.


Ntumu Style, Equatorial Guinea
Height 58cm

Smooth natural patina. Brass bracelets on forearms. Very good condition, despite some visual signs of ageing. This unique unusual style could well be explained as an interpretation by an extremely competent artist who had an insight, training and experience of modern art while proceeding with his own interpretation of a traditional carving.


Ntumu Style, Northern Fang, Gabon
Height 50cm

Black patina. Copper eye inserts and very understated metal and bead decoration, plus a cowrie shells embedded in the wood. Good condition, a truly old piece, this was the first Fang Byeri statue in my collection. At that stage I actually knew nothing about traditional Fang BYERIS, but it’s unusual style made me study and slowly understand Fang art from then on.


Janus lookalike figures, Gabon
Height 68cm

Aged dark patina. Richly decorated with copper plates. Weathered condition, but still very solid. Janus figures with identical features on front and back are not unusual in African art.


Ngumba style, Gabon
Height 105cm

Natural patina. Square beard, feather headdress, copperplate ornaments, holding a horn. This is a rather large figure and would not have belonged to a single family as is the case with  normal ancestor memorials. It probably was created for a specific occasion and kept as part of the clan or village artefacts.

Excellent condition, a superb statue, created by a gifted craftsman.


Ntumu Style, Equatorial Guinea or Gabon
Height 52 cm

Natural patina, almost white wood. Exquisite carving, minimalistic style. Two simple copper bands around forearms, holding cup. There is a big crack in the wood from the side of the face right down the middle of the body, otherwise in excellent condition with superb detail. The wood has turned relatively light from age. The figure came from the village of Mayumba close to the Congo border. A genuinely rare and unusual old sculpture.


Original from Benga village, North Gabon
Height 44cm

Natural dark brown patina. This statue was for generations kept in the round house of the village elder in the village of Benga in northern Gabon. The round house in Fang tradition symbolises a place that connects man to God. Most Fang statues represent male figures, so this female representation must be of a very prominent and powerful female ancestor. Very good condition despite its age. The front part of the right foot is chipped off. Extremely unusual is the attention to the mouth, showing the tongue and delicately detailed carved teeth.


Height 57cm
Fang gabon

Natural off-white patina, Minimalistic style, extremely powerful. Through the ageing process the wood has become relatively light and soft, but the mask is still in perfect condition.

The mask was originally in possession of Benjamin Ze Ondo Bouanga and was given to me by his granddaughter in appreciation of our relationship. Of course by now the grand daughter has become grandmother as well, even a great grand mother already. A rare mask to be treasured.


Mvaai style
height 60cm

Dark brown shiny patina. An expertly and beautifully carved statue with the most exquisite facial details. Statues like these, showing off  prominently exaggerated female organs, were used as aid in preparing young virgins to adulthood. The statues were also consulted for problems in pregnancy.


Height 45 cm
Wood, Copper, Iron

The traditional Fang sitting figure creates the perfect visual balance as well as the ideal weight distribution. When I took ownership, I was told by a reliable and trustworthy source the piece was created in 1938, but I can’t vouch for that. 


Ntumu style, Gabon
Height 54cm, wood, copper

A truly remarkable piece, perfectly executed, all elements in total harmony. We can trace it as far back to when it was in possession of Johann Obiang Rantal oto Zue, who became a member of the L’eglise de d’Alexandre , also known as Egyptian church in 1941. His brother Samson Mbingui oto Zue was the resident minister. The family back then resided in the village of Ebel, a part of the small town of Booue in Central Gabon. The statue had been passed on to Johann from his forefathers and fortunately was not destroyed like some other important relics of the past. Johann was the Great Great Grandfather of the mother of a very good contact of mine from Gabon. The mothers name is Madanie Mezui Bivigou who can recall all her family members back to her Great Great Grandmother by name of Marie Nurlie. Although the family had converted to Christianity many years ago, the statue was kept as a precious and treasured piece along with many other remnants of the past. In fact the statue was cared for and oiled regularly, as well as being consulted until very recently.


Height 70cm
wood, white pigment, raffia

Very beautiful and totally symmetric features. There are regular holes right down the very long and prominent nose. These holes were provided for further adornment of the mask when in use. It looks like white paint was used to paint over the original surface of the face, this is not unusual as masks were regularly repaired and renewed after usage. The colour white is associated with the world of the ancestors. Ngil masks were worn for judiciary functions.


height 50cm

Dark wood, metal eye inserts, engraved necklace adornment.

A very rare female statue with the right hand pointing towards the stomach and the left hand holding the ample left breast. One can assume that the figure was carved in the memory of a woman that gave birth to many important or successful children. It was discovered and brought to me direct from Gabon by my friend Adamou, who had specially earmarked it for my collection.


Fang, Gabon
Tree bark, Height 50cm

A superbly grafted tree bark container. It used to contain relics like teeth,  bones, finger nails, and other items of the deceased. The box usually was looked after by the eldest male in the family unit. The regular reliquary cult with initiation parades was disbanded in the 1930’s, but many familes kept the statues and to a lesser extend the boxes. This particular box was used to house a very old Byeri statue and a raffia skirt, similar to skirts  worn by women during dances. The skirt was wrapped around the statue and displayed at various functions until quite recently.

ngil mask

fang, Gabon
wood, raffia, HEIGHT 55CM

A superb old Ngil mask. These masks were a symbol of fear and retribution and were used to single out wrongdoers. The usual punishment for people convicted of sorcery was death.

The mask was originally collected by Nji Idriss Mbombo during his travels in Central Africa.

ntumu statue

fang, Gabon
Wood, Height 52cm

This statue displays the typical round features of the Ntumu substyle. It has no added decoration, but features very prominent and expertly executed mouth and eye features. The right breast is slightly damaged, otherwise in perfect condition.

Byeri basket

fang gabon,
tree bark, Height 32cm

This basket used to hold relics of important ancestors. Attached on top of the basket was a statue. One can clearly see the indentation where the feet were attached to the lid.

initiation figure

fang, Gabon
Wood, Height 34cm

This statue was used to enable the group of initiation inmates to communicate with the spirits of the ancestors. It was collected by Nji Idriss Mbombo during one of his business trips in the 1970’s.

initiation drum

Ntumu style, Fang, Gabon
hardwood, animal skin height 58cm

This exceptional beautiful and delicate piece has for years been placed and presented on its own little basket, as seen in the picture. Drums like that were only used during initiation and then stored for another year.


ntumu style, Gabon
Wood, Height 64cm

A very unusual and large statue, showing off it’s very strong powerful and rounded features. There is no ornamental decoration but very dark oily patina from repeated ritual utilisation.

ancestor statue

Betsi azman style, Fang, Gabon
hardwood, height 42cm

Carved out of dark brown solid hardwood.  the most prominent and unusual feature of the statue are the facial features and the symbols carved on both sides of the face. These features remind of the Ngil society masks, but which have very rarely featured on a woman. Both the teeth and the tongue are displayed which is unusual as well


Mvai style, Gabon
Wood, Copper, Height 44cm

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