Gan
arm ornament

Africa | Burkina Faso

Gan
arm ornament

Burkina Faso

Bronze
Early 20th century
Height: 4 in. (10 cm)

Ex collection Maine Durieu
Ex private collection, Paris

Sold
The Gan, neighbors of the Lobi, reside in Southwest Burkina Faso.
The depiction of the Torfan serpent / snake is the central theme of Gan art. Torfan is a mythical animal whose strength and power are embodied in metal. One who owns a Torfan gets the power to fight evil.
The theme of the serpent is expressed here through the undulating movement of the body. The head of the animal is superbly stylized.
The exceptional quality of this ornament (armring or bracelet) suggests that it belonged to a high-ranking member of the Gan society. The royal family and dignitaries attached great importance to the majesty of their belongings and the quality of the cast metal.
The refinement and harmony of the composition are remarkable.
This ornament comes from the private collection of Bruno Gay. He acquired it from late Parisian dealer Maine Durieu over a decade ago.
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