Fanti Stool, ca. 1920

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

Tell us how your family got it.

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

Okay, it was your dad?

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

I know it's been around over 50 years.

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


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.


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


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.


Thanks for bringing it into the ROADSHOW.

Okay. Great.

Appraisal Details

Dallas, TX
Appraised value (2006)
$600 Retail$1,500 Retail
Tucson, AZ (June 17, 2006)
Tribal Arts
Carved , Wood

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