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Lemellophone – Wood, Metal – Sanza – Chokwe – DR Congo


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SKU: 55.106 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

A beautiful figurative sanza with a fine patina and sound. The lemellophone has 2 Chokwe figures and patterns carved on it.

Wood, dark brown patina, claviature consisting of 9 metal tongues of different lengths, rectangular body. The length of the tongues determines the pitch, thus the instrument can be tuned. When playing, the Sanza is held with both hands, and the two thumbs, sometimes also the index finger, pluck the tongues. In good condition despite the great age.

This music instrument is called ‘sanza’ or in french ‘lamellophone’ , which one ‘plays’ by plucking the ends of the iron ‘tongues’ with the thumbs. These ‘tongues’ are attached to a metal frame atop a wood board. The board, made of hard brown woodshows a color variation in patina due to the extensive use.

Lit.: ‘Encyclopedia of African Art and Culture’ by K.-F. Schädler, ill. p. 530.

Good condition with a beautiful patina of age.

Provenance: former private collection from the Netherlands.

Object: Lemellophone
Ethnic group/ culture: Chokwe
Region/ country: DR Congo
Material: Wood
Period: Mid 20th century
Condition: Good
Sold with stand: No
Dimensions: 19×10×3 cm
Weight: 190 g


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