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Bamun Bamileke Brass Maskette Monkeys Cameroon Africa

Regular Price: $65.00

Special Price: $35.00

Product #: 110084
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Title Bamun Bamileke Brass Maskette Monkeys Cameroon Africa
Materials Brass
Made In Cameroon
Traded In Africa
Approximate Age Unknown
Dimensions Height: 2.75 Inches
Width: 4 Inches
Overall Condition Fair.
Damage/Repair Tarnishing, dents and chips

Additional information: This brass figurine of a mask with monkeys on top with their arms around eachother, reflects a sculptural tradition long established in Cameroon. This history of brass-casting began in the capital city of Fombam in Bamum and flourished after late 19th century contact with German colonial officials.

For ages, brass and gold African pieces have been made using the “lost wax method.” First a model of the object is made from beeswax, then dipped repeatedly in a solution of fine ash or charcoal powder mixed with water. This forms a mold, or “crucible,” which is allowed to dry and harden. In the case of beads with fine strings in their design, a syringe is used to produce the long, thin wax pieces which are then wrapped around charcoal to leave a hole during the heating process. As the molds harden,  channels are left in them  to enable the wax to drain out during the heating process which takes place in a kiln. As the wax melts and is “lost”, molten brass or gold is poured into the mold to form the bead or ornament. When the metal has cooled, the molds are broken open and cleared away and the new art object is thoroughly cleaned and shined before it is presented to the world. In some cases the final product is gilded for an especially rich finish.