African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

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African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:22 am








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Re: African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:27 am

He is made of wood(sorry for the odd placed question mark), really just wanted to know if anyone had any idea where he was made. Thanks.

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Re: African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by NaomiM on Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:05 pm

Looks like ebony, but it might be another tropical wood like mahogany that has been strained black. See if it floats in water - ebony will sink.
Possibly made in Indonesia, eg, Papua New Guinea

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Re: African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:53 pm

Thanks Naomi,
Just checked and he sank, so I guess that's ebony.
Would be interesting knowing where he was made.

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Re: African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by NaomiM on Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:35 pm

Googling 'tribal art boat ebony' has thrown up a possible origin -
Lake Malawi in Africa

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Re: African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by styleinvasion on Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:50 pm

don't know where from but my parents owned a similar one when i was a child
therefore i can say that i've seen a similar piece in the middle of the 1970s
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Re: African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by studio-pots on Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:52 am

Dark ebony like this grows in West Africa and Southern India/Sri Lanka and, although ebony is grown in Indonesia, it looks different.

So the likelihood is that it was carved in Africa and could be 40 or 50 years old but is made for the tourist market so most likely would have been carved in one of the "factories" turning out generic African wooden artifacts for this market. Today if you visit most "antique markets" in France, Belgium and to a lesser extent the UK you will see stalls with all of this type of brand new wooden carving, often made to look old and from a specific tribe but likely to have been made to order from operations in West Africa.

Today ebony would be too expensive to use for this type of operation and some is banned by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) from use, hence suggesting that it has some age.

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Re: African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:18 pm

Thanks for that info' on my canoeist Studio-pots, it was very interesting.
I've added a pic of his face.

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Re: African? man in a canoe. Made of wood?

Post by NaomiM on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:27 pm

studio-pots wrote:

...Today ebony would be too expensive to use for this type of operation and some is banned by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) from use, hence suggesting that it has some age.


As with elephant ivory, I believe tourist pieces are still being made (or at least, being made until recently) in ebony despite the CITES convention, so it's not necessarily a sign of age.
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