Baga Nimba (D'mba) mask to make $498,500?

A Baga Nimba (D'mba) mask is valued at $373,987-498,650 ahead of a sale of African and Oceanic art at Sotheby's Paris on December 10.

The D'mba represents an idealised form of womanhood in Baga culture and is usually characterised as an older woman who has borne several children.

Baga Dmba Sothebys
The Baga people are native to western Guinea

It was used in religious and agricultural rituals, with a raffia-clad dancer taking on the role. Baga carvings have had a major influence on the art of the 20th century - Picasso is reported to have owned one.

The lot is one of only 15 produced in the country before independence. The majority of the masks were destroyed following the widespread adoption of Islam in the 1950s.

A rapa from Easter Island is another highlight, with an identical estimate of $373,987-498,650.

The paddle is designed as an abstraction of the human figure and was used in various ceremonies. They would be spun around at high speeds.

The present lot is among the finest specimens, comparable with an example housed in the British Museum and another that was formerly part of the prestigious Oldman collection of ethnographic art.

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