Fanti Stool, ca. 1920

Value (2006) | $600 Retail$1,500 Retail

APPRAISER:
Tell us how your family got it.

GUEST:
I think it was an estate sale or an auction. Long Island, New York.

APPRAISER:
Okay, it was your dad?

GUEST:
My dad. And so, about what time would that have been?

APPRAISER:
I know it's been around over 50 years.

GUEST:
50 years. So... yeah. Okay, so did your dad tell you anything about the piece?

APPRAISER:
No.

GUEST:
All right, this stool is from Ghana. There's two tribes that do these stools-- the Ashanti and the Fanti. This particular stool is from the Fanti. This piece was not made for tribal use. This piece was commissioned, 1910-1930, by a colonial for a Fanti carver to carve this for him. There's a couple of ways that we know that. The colonials were a little bit taller, so the stools are bigger. Now, these stools, in a traditional context, are for prestige and status. Only the wealthy people could have these in their homes. So, ironically, you have a colonial commissioning a piece for exactly the same reason-- as a prestige piece for his home. Now, in African art, we have decorative pieces, we have reproductions, we have fakes, we have folk art. Since this is a piece that is commissioned for sale, it's not a fake. I really look at these now more as folk art. And this is really a terrific example of a Fanti stool. The elephant is a symbol of power. We have inlaid eyes. We have one little problem on the back here. We do have one broken tusk. Now, that's going to detract a little bit from the value. Now, one other thing that I want to show... If we look down here, we can see that we definitely have wear on the seat. In African art, once we know what something is-- whether it's a mask, a stool, a figure-- we want to see a wear pattern that is appropriate for that kind of object. This has been used in your family.

APPRAISER:
Yes.

GUEST:
And that's great. So we have a terrific piece here, beautifully carved. In my gallery, this would be $600 to $900.

APPRAISER:
Okay.

GUEST:
In the decorative market, that is, if somebody had this in a decorative center or a designer came in and then the designer put it into a home, it could be $1,000 to $1,500.

APPRAISER:
Really?

GUEST:
Thanks for bringing it into the ROADSHOW.

APPRAISER:
Okay. Great.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Dallas, TX
Appraised value (2006)
$600 Retail$1,500 Retail
Event
Tucson, AZ (June 17, 2006)
Period
20th Century
Form
Chair
Material
Carved, Wood

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