The figure is a twin Janus wood statue. One of the heads has horns, the other head has braided fiber hair. The heads are male and female and between the heads is a horizontal row of cowrie shells.
The top of the male's head appears to have had damage at one time and that there was restoration. The heads have identical facial features: slit eyes, large protruding noses, protruding mouths with teeth (shells).
The neck has three rows of cowrie shells and is on a rounded, wide pedestal base that has a long vertical crack - side to top. I believe the Janus figure is of the Ekoi people of Nigeria, also referred to as the Ejagham. The Janus figure was worn as a head crest over a basket cap.The older types of Ekoi Janus headdresses have the female face painted white - on this figure, the braided hair determines the gender. Janus figures are named after the Roman god Janus. The opposing sides of Janiform objects sometimes represent male and female faces. A figure with two faces was also believed to be doubly powerful or protective as with many fetishes or reliquary guardians. The Ekoi live in the southeastern forest region of Nigeria. Marcel Gibrat (Pictured working on a Greek Kylyx in the 1970s), my grandfather, was a Restorer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan and later owned a Madison Avenue Restoration Studio and Art Gallery one block from the Guggenheim Museum. From the 1960s to 1990s. Marcel was undoubtedly a genius and was, as far as I know, the only Restorer for the Met without a PhD. In fact he had a sixth grade education. He was also a talented painter. Im Max Lewin the curator of what remains of Marcels extensive art collection, comprising ancient, tribal, Asian and European art. I worked with Marcel summers and in college. Marcel was an unquestioned expert in antiquities and all items in the collection from the ancient world are guaranteed to be authentic. Marcel also had a particular affinity for African tribal art, and while dating such items is problematic, he absolutely had impeccable taste. Some of his opinions on provenance of tribal items have been challenged. There are also Asian items of various quality, and many fine and genuine items from primitive cultures including relatively contemporary (a few hundred years old) and both neolithic and upper paleolithic items. Many of the items have archaeological markings.
The item "EKOI HORNED JANUS HEAD AFRICAN TRIBAL ART ARTE AFRICANA w PROFESSIONAL APPRAISAL" is in sale since Wednesday, June 3, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\African\1900-Now\Masks".collection" and is located in Asheville, North Carolina.
This item can be shipped worldwide.