Lot 32

Large Lobi Wood Standing Bateba Figure, Burkina Faso

Estimate: $2,500 - $4,500
Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$200 $50
$500 $100
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000

Now raised on a base.

Figure only: 33 x 7 x 6 in. Height of base: 2 1/2 in.

Note: A related Lobi figure sold Sotheby's Paris, The Collection of Marceau Rivière, June 18, 2019 for $7,500 Euros. The Lobi migrated into Burkina Faso from present day Ghana around 1770, and many of them crossed the border into the Ivory Coast over the next hundred years or so in search of uncultivated lands. Although the Lobi villages are often very independent and politically disorganized, they managed to put up a strong resistance to French colonization. Members of the Lobi community are united by a common belief in the cult of a nature spirit called "Thil". Shrines are built to these spirits under the instruction of a sorcerer and placed on the roof or inside the home. The shrines are filled with objects such as vessels, abstract iron figures, stone and wood figures known as Bateba, which are believed to embody the Thil spirits. Lobi Bateba figures vary in size, and typically have slightly bent legs with roughly carved feet and an enlarged head with a high smooth or grooved coiffure. Some Bateba may be carved with different postures corresponding to various Thil. Statues with a single raised arm symbolize a dangerous Thil, while copulating couples or maternity figures are believed to enhance the fertility of women living in the home.


An encrusted surface with minor wear, several small holes on the backside with minor age splits. Generally in good overall condition.Not withstanding this report or any discussion concerning condition of a lot, all lots are offered and sold "as is" in accordance with our conditions of sale.