A Bakongo "Marbled" Earthenware Pot
Country Of Origin
The Congo River Cataracts
First half 20th century
24 x 25 cms (9½ x 10 ins)
Fired and sealed
Good condition apart from minor chips to base
There are several sub-tribes of the Bakongo that make pots with a distinctive “marbled” finish. The tribes are located along the area of the Congo River known as the Cataracts below the Malebo, previously known as Stanley Pool. There are variations in form and finish between groups but this particular shape with its handsome rounded body, tall flared neck and rimmed foot is associated with the Sundi.
The marbled finish is created after firing by treating the red hot pots with a decoction made from a plant called Bridelia ferruginea which is splashed onto the surface of the pot after the firing but while the pot is still hot. The solution boils off the hot surface creating the distinctive 'marbled' pattern and also has the effect of making it less porous. This example has a band of incised decoration below its neck.
Price on request