Miniature mask, one of ten
Dr. G.W. Harley, the American Missionary of Ganta in north-east Liberia between the wars, was the source of the great collection in the Peabody Museum at Harvard, on which for many years our knowledge and understanding of the Dan was largely based. He also collected for other institutions and collectors and the present small group was acquired some years after his death.
This mask (834a) is in a category of its own; the wood is probably from a temperate zone, and it is likely to be a work from Dr Harley’s own hand. If so, though not unique, it is an interesting addition.
Margaret Carey, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 118.
Collected by Dr G. W. Harley, Methodist Minister in Liberia 1927 - 1952.
Purchased by the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia from K. J. Hewett in 1982 on the advice of Robert Sainsbury out of income from the Sainbury Purchasing Fund.
Not on display
Title/Description: Miniature mask, one of ten
Object Type: Mask
Measurements: h. 95 x w. 54 x d. 31 mm
Accession Number: 834a
Historic Period: Late 19th/early 20th century
Production Place: Africa, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia
Cultural Group: Dan and Bassa
Credit Line: Purchased with support from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1982