Ritual Objects, Amulets, Fetishes, Etc. (34)

1.

SOLD

19th Century
Object: large Mandala Painting (with 5 mandalas — unusual)
Material: Paint, including gold paint, on cloth
Artist: not given
Country: Tibet
Religion: Buddhism
Provenance: brought back to me by a friend in Nepal in the 1970's
Iconography: I am not sure of the exact iconography, but these scrolls were apparently used as aides in meditation. One meditated on the deities portrayed and "merged" with them to learn about aspects of oneself. The sexual imagery is typical of Tibetan religious art. The psychiatrist C.G. Jung wrote about mandalas from a Western point of view as found in the dreams of his patients and the imagery of Western religions and alchemy.

Dimensions: 55" x 38.5"
Condition: Very Good but for a few small holes where hung and some lines where paint is gone (barely noticeable from the front)

I brought this to Professor J. Leroy Davidson (1908-1980) of UCLA (a scholar on Buddhist art) in the 1970's. He authenticated it as genuine, probably 19th Century. On the back is a priest's hand print and writing, all in blood.

2.

20th Century
Object: Tankha (Thangka)
Material: paint on board
Artist: not given
Country: Tibet
Religion: Buddhism
Iconongraphy: unknown to me
Provenance: puchased by me at a Dutch auction c1995

Dimensions: 35" x 23.5" (of frame0
Condition: Good

3.

SOLD

c19th Century
Object: Tankha (Thangka)
Material: paint on cloth; embroidered silk border
Artist: not given
Country: Tibet
Religion: Buddhism
Iconography: not known to me

Dimensions: 33.5" x 23"
Condition: corners bumped
Framed

I showed this to a Tibetan monk c2005, and he said it is genuine.

4.

older
Object: tip of Tibetan ritual object, perhaps a
crown of a staff
Function: unknown
Material: a metal

Dimensions: 6"H x 2.25"W x 1D
Condition: Fine

5.

SOLD

c800 (Nara Period) - 13th Century(?)
Object: Calligraphy — Buddhist Sutra fragment?
Materials: ink on rice paper embedded in contemporary paper
Country: Ishiyama Temple, Japan
Name(?) of the work (in modern pencil): Tempyo-Kyo [a period of expanded cultural contact in Japan, 8th Century], Shobutsu-Daimyo-Darani-Kyo

Dimensions
Frame: 13" x 7"
Paper: 10" x 1.5"
Condition: Very Good for age

Click here for images and history of the Ishiyama-deru Temple.

6.

c. pre-1980's
Object: Yipon war and hunting magic fetish
Material: wood with remnants of paint
Area: Karawari area of Papua New Guienea
Provenance: purchased on eBay, c1992 with the following note from the seller:
" I traded with the natives for the Yipwon in New Guinea, nearly a decade ago. It was old and used then. It had been used in the Mens House for hunting and war magic, but was then discarded as they felt it had lost its power. They had a long dry spell at hunting or lost in battle."
Placement: "When in use as a cult object in the Mens House it was brought outunwrapped and probably hung from the rafters during ritual use. The exact details of these things are kept secret from all but the men of
the tribe."
Condition: "The insects in the Yipwon are long dead. It is a small jungle beetle that made the tracks and holes. The scrapimg on the hooks are from movement and rubbing in shipment I believe. It is carved from one piece of wood - nothing added. I have some books with photos of similar pieces. This is a very ancient design with the hooks (spines) they usually go in both directions surrounding a central heart. Your piece is an excellent example of the few I've seen."

Dimensions: 45.5"H x 2.5"D x 3.5"W
Condition: Good

7.

c pre-1980's
Object: incised deer Skull
Country: Central Timor, Indonesia (was a Portugese colony)
Note from seller: "The people there make these animist fetishes and leave them along the paths in the mountains. On this one a happy ancestor face is carved in the forehead of a deer skull. These pieces call on the spirits of the ancestors for protection and help in the hunt."
Acquired from a collection in the 1980's in Darwin, Australia
Has a Rosewood and Forged Iron base for display (not shown)

Dimensions: 4.5"W x 3.75"H
Confition: Fine

8.

20th Century
Object: Amulet?
Subject: crab on one side and astrological(?) chart (calendar = porhalaan) on the other
Material: incised rib? bone
Country: Batak, Indonesia

Dimensions: 5"H x 1.5"W x .25"D
Condition: Good

For examples from a museum collection, please click here.

9.

c1990
Object: Ancestor Figure
Material: a heavy hard wood
People: Adu Zatuas
Country: Nias, Sumatra, Indonesia
Note: These figures, supposedly, contained the spirit of the dead (in this case, definitely a man) who were, through the figure, to bring good fortune. The spirit or "heart-soul" or moko-moko or nosododo survives death and enters a spider. When the spider is found it is taken to the figure, and the soul passes into it.
"The arms are held away from the body and are bent at the elbow so the hands are clasped under the chest. The legs are bent at the knees, possibly in a sitting position. The gender is always indicated. ... The nose and the brows form an unbroken arc, with the brows continuing ... the eyes are bulging ovals ..."
The figures are kept in the houses of the descendants.
Note from seller: "We got the Nias at Nias for few years ago. It made for someone's ancestor but we are not sure what his rank in Nias society. ... To see another example in Ethnograplical Museum, Budapest or in Art of Indonesia by Tibor Bodrogi page 32."

Dimensions: 21.5" x 5"W x 5.5"D
Condition: Fine, possibly has been cleaned

Click here to see an older one, from a museum.

10.

c1950's
Object: a Lendi Guardian figure for a cemetery
Materials: painted wood
Country: Ubut, Bali
Note from seller: "Lendi is a member of Banaspati or Lord of the Jungle. It is used by wealthy and/or noble families as a guardian ..."
Provenance: bought in 1999 from a Balinese seller who wrote: "I got the Lendi in Bali. During my travel in Bali I never saw that kind of statue in any where. I bought the lendi from a collector in Ubut Bali. It used in his family cemetery, he said there were a pair of this statue, the other statue named Lende."

Dimensions: 19.5"H x 6.5"W x 5.5"D
Condition: many cracks as wood is aging, paint worn, but Good

11. c1980's
Object: Pipe (for what use, unclear)
Materials: quills, clay, bamboo, a small gourd, cord
Place of Origin: unclear to me

Dimensions: 9"L
Condition: Fine
12.

c1995
Object: ritual Bottle (Boutey) and Rattle
Materials: bottle and rattle with sequins and, for the bottle, red and maroon beads all attached to cloth
Culture: Voodoo (Vodou, Vodun)
Country: Haiti
Note from seller: "Used to honor different deities or Loas. The bottle has an abstract design, veve, that represents a specific Loa or deity. This is the Haitian equivalent of the Santeria and the Orishas in other courntries of the Caribbean and U.S. cities."
Note: Regarding the bottle, the older ones that were used for rituals had tops that came off (as does this one). They were used to carry drinks for the spirits.
Another Note: "the act of sewing the sequins is paralleled to the
process of submitting prayers to the Loas"
Provenance: purchased by me on ebay with the following email from the seller: "acquired from Tina Girouard who did a publication titled "Sequin Artists of Haiti" that features a number of Voodoo artists. Tina had a number of these pieces, a few years ago, that she was selling on their behalf to buy sequins that she could in turn return to Haiti for their work at the time of political unrest in the country.  There was a shortage of materials and this was her way of helping them.  The bottle in particular, she said, was made by one of the artists featured in the book, although she could not remember which one.  As I said, she also wrote an article, including some of the same artists, for the Large
Voodoo book (and exhibition) that was organized by the Fowler Museum, U.C.L.A. "

Dimensions
of bottle: 11"H x 3.5" diameter
of rattle: 9" x 3"
Condition: Dusty, a few beads loosening on bottle, a few sequins missing from bottle.

13.


older
Object: Deer Fetish or Toy
Material: clay, deer hide, remnants of a feather
Tribe: Zuni?
Provenance: bought c 1970's, Los Angeles, can't remember where

Dimension: 8"L x 1.75"W x 2.75"H
Condtion: some chips from clay and missing feather from front and eyes

14.

older
Object: Frog
Material: reddish stone, turquoise
Tribe: Zuni?
Provenance: Los Angeles native art store, c1970's

Dimension: ~2" x ~2"
Condtion: some chips

15.

1992
Object: Deer Dancer Fetish
Material: Deer Antler
Artist: Greg Weeka
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1992 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: 3"H x 1.25"W x 1"D
Condition: Fine, one antler cracked off and glued back on expertly, nearly invisible

16. 1991
Object: Dinosaur? Fetish
Material: soapstone?, turquoise, abalone Shell, coral
Artist: Leonard Halate
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: 2.25"L x 2"H x 1"
Condition: good but missing the little horn
17.

1991
Object: Dinosaur? Fetish
Material
: soapstone?, turquoise, abalone shell, coral
Artist
: Leonard Halate
Material
: soapstone?, turquoise, abalone shell, coral
Provenance
: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: 2"L x 1" x 1"
Condition: good but missing the little horn

18.

1991
Object: Water Serpent Fetish
Materials: deer antler, turquoise, abalone shell, coral
Artist: Leonard Halate
Materials: deer antler, turquoise, abalone shell, coral
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: 9.5"L x 2"H x 1"D
Condition: Good

19.

1991
Object: Rattlesnake Fetish
Materials: serpentine and turquoise
Signed: Wil Cheama
For the two Rabbits: Serpentine and artists unknown
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions:
Rabbit (left): 1"L
Rabbit (right): .75"
Rattlesnake: 1.5"L
Condition: Snake Fine; two rabbits have pieces missing from ears

20.

1991
Object: Mountain Lion Fetish
Material: serpentine
Artist: Dan Quam
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: ~2"
Condition: repaired

21.

1991
Object: Mole Fetish
Materials: jet, turquoise, pinkshell, Mother of Pearl
Artist: Faye Quandelacy
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: ~1"
Condition: Excellent

22.

1991
Object: Beaver Fetish
Materials: serpentine, turquoise
Artist: Wil Cheama
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: ~1"
Condition: ear and leg broke off during earthquake

23.

1991
Object: Horse Fetish
Materials: elk bone
Artist: Virginia Toombs
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: ~1"
Condition: missing fetish objects

24.

1991
Object: Owl Fetish
Materials: pipestone, turquoise
Artist: Carl Banteah
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: ~1"
Condition: Excellent

25.

1991
Object: Snake Fetish
Materials: serpentine, turquoise
Artist: Terry Banteah
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions:
Condition:

   
26.

c1991
Object: Beaver?
Materials: jet, turquoise
Artist: can't remember
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: probaly Taos Indian Trading Co., Santa Monica, c1991

Dimensions: ~1.5"
Condition: broken tail

27.

c1991
Object: ?
Materials: ?
Artist: can't remember
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: probaly Taos Indian Trading Co., Santa Monica, c1991

Dimensions: ~1.5"
Condition: missing eyes

28.

1991
Object: Badger Fetish
Material: serpentine?
Artist: Alex Tsethlikai
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: ~3"
Condition: chip off nose

29.

1991
Object: Wolf (Strength and East) Fetish
Materials: alabaster, shell, and coral
Artist: Eugene Mahooty
Tribe: Zuni
Provenance: purchased in Santa Monica in 1991 from Taos Indian Trading Co.

Dimensions: ~1.5"
Condition: Excellent

30.


c2000
Object: Protection Amulet
Materials: bottle containing minerals (to attract money), red and black Huayruru seeds for luck, herbs and oil and colored tree bark for health, and a curled yellow vine called Vuelve, Vuelve which is to help regain a lost lover or friend. It also contains what seems to be a carved brown alabaster figure of St. Francis.
Maker: a Curandero (folk doctor)
Use: protection, health, luck
Country: Amazon area of Ayacucho, Peru
Provenance: purchased in Los Angeles

Dimensions: 2"H x 1" diameter
Condition: Fine

 
31.

c2000
Object: Amulet
Materials: cross with pictures of St. Martin on a horse, packets, wheat, printed cards, sequins, etc.
Country: Mexico
Provenance: purchased in Los Angeles, California, c2000

Dimensions: 9.75"H x 6"W
Condition: Very Good

32.

c2000
Object: Retablo (Nicho) of Tree of Death
Materials: clay, paint, wood
Country: Mexico
Provenance: purchased in Los Angeles, California, c2000

Dimensions: 7.5"H x 5"W x 2"D
Condition: Good

33.

c19th Century?
Object: devotional Retablo
Subject: Jesus? holding child
Media: painting on tin
Country: Mexico or another country in South America

Dimensions: 14"H x 10"
Condition: appears faded, spoted, tin bent at corners, hold where had been mounted, rust on bak

34.

TAKEN

October 19, 1979
Object: devotional Retablo
Subject: a man is saved by Christ (?) from a flying saucer
Media: painting on tin
Country: Jerez, Mexico

Dimensions: 7" x 6"
Condition: Older so rust

35. c2005
Object: devotional Retablo
Subject: a man is saved by Christ (?) from a flying saucer
Media: painting on tin
Subject: The child Alida Lozano ... with her cat being protected by the Saint Boy of Atocha
Country: Mexico

Dimensions: 7.25" x 4.5"
Condition: Good
36.

TAKEN

c2005
Object: devotional Retablo
Subject: a man is saved by Christ (?) from a flying saucer
Media: painting on tin
Subject: A wife is sick and sees husand as goat, but she prays to Santa Barbara and gets much better.
Country: Mexico

Dimensions: 7" x 8.75"
Condition: Fine

37.

TAKEN

c2005
Object: devotional Retablo
Subject: a man is saved by Christ (?) from a flying saucer
Media: painting on tin
Subject: A Wife has trouble saving her husband from a beautiful mermaid but is helped by the Virgin
Country: Mexico

Dimensions: 8" x 8.5"
Condition: Fine

38.

c2005
Object: devotional Retablo
Subject: a man is saved by Christ (?) from a flying saucer
Media: painting on tin
Subject: A school teacher seems to be giving thanks to the Virgin of Zappan for giving her such intelligent and caring students.
Country: Mexico

Dimensions: 5.25" x 10"
Condition: Fine

39.

c2005
Object: devotional Retablo
Subject: a man is saved by Christ (?) from a flying saucer
Media: painting on tin
Subject Thanks being given by two sisters, Martinez Lopez, to the Virgin of San Juan for helping them both to become Ballerinas.
Country: Mexico

Dimenions: 10.5" x 7.5"
Condition: Fine

40.

c2005
Object: devotional Retablo
Subject: a man is saved by Christ (?) from a flying saucer
Media: painting on tin
Subject: A mother gives thanks to Saint Peter from protecting her from a terrible storm and flood.
Country: Mexico

Dimensions: 7.5" x 6.5"
Condition: Fine