After a busy summer of travelling we now have new stock posted throughout our web gallery and available at our London shop. A few highlights are shown below.
Ewe weaving from Ghana
Ewe cloth come from the Volta region of Ghana and bordering areas of Togo. They are among the most sought after vintage African textiles by museums and collectors. Woman wear two small cloths of the same design while men wear one large cloth toga fashion. E503: The slightly narrower than normal strips, together with the threefold grouping of weft faced blocks are an archaic style and indicative of an early C20th or earlier date for this cloth despite its pristine condition. Much African textile design is about exploring the tension between similarity and difference within the self-imposed constraints of the design. In this case the weaver restricts both the weft blocks and weft motifs to a limited palette of red, yellow, white, and blue, but varies the choice of motifs and the order of the weft stripes within the pattern blocks throughout. More Ewe cloths here
Nigerian Women's Weaving.
Nigerian women used a different type of loom to the man's narrow strip device found throughout West Africa, weaving wider panels of fabric.
NW396: Woven by Ijebu Yoruba women in the town of Ijebu-Ode and its surroundings, these extraordinary cloths are used as insignia of office by Ijebu chiefs and members of a society known as Ogboni (which in the past had responsibilities for the worship of the Earth deity and advised the king.) The designs represent various important spirit familiars including frogs, crocodiles etc. This four panel indigo dyed blue and white type, woven from thick hand spun local cotton is very rare. The right hand panel has at some point been cut near the centre and stitched back together, but otherwise condition is excellent. Dates from circa 1900-20. More Nigerian women's cloths here
Francophone African Textiles
At the moment we are focussing on Cote D'Ivoire and in particular on obscure and rare cloths from the north east of the country on the border with Ghana. Fr402: One of the finest and most elaborate of the small group of woman's wrapper cloths we have collected from the Bondoukou region. Woven with a hand spun indigo dyed cotton background the design has a regular alternation of weft float motifs framed by red, white, or blue weft faced blocks. Well worn and with one small area of damage to a float pattern - see detail, this exceptional cloth is in good overall condition. Dates from early C20th. More Francophone African cloths here