To maintain this hairstyle during two or three months, the Luba woman slept with a headrest. These small pieces of furnishing are the exceptional example of a type of object that reaches the peaks of African tribal creativity without being mystical.
The slightly curved wooden cushion is positioned 17 cm high, linked to the base through one or two caryatid figures bearing the double bun. The specialists recognize six iconographic variants grouped in two styles that are the work of two different artists identified together as the Maître de la Coiffure en Cascade.
By its functionality this object had to be robust without being heavy. The Maître obtained a pleasant balance between matter and emptiness in both cases of a central or dual caryatid.
One of these models, known in four copies, consists of two figures seated face to face. The arms stretched between the two characters bring a feeling of great sympathy while forming an elegant entretoise.
One of these headrests was sold for € 1,35M including premium by Sotheby's on June 6, 2005 over a lower estimate of € 200K.
Another unit is for sale in Drouot (Paris) on December 15 by Millon in cooperation with Christie's. Charles Ratton had presented it to his wife who kept it for half a century. It is estimated above € 500K, lot 40 in the catalog shared by Drouot.
SOLD for € 2.23M including premium