ASK THE EXPERT - APR 2016
A friend collector from Italy would like to know the origin and the degree of rarity of this Ibeji.
This is an Ibeji which looks, at first sight, very interesting. Several carving details lead to the attribution to Eshubiyi, founder of a famous workshop in Abeokuta (Egba) in the year 1862. This would be confirmed from the absence of a logo under the base. The presence of a very shiny and homogeneous patina patina, even on those parts that show signs of wear, at least from the photo, makes me doubtful on this Ibeji. If the above would be confirmed by a direct exam of the Ibeji, it would not be possible to make an expertize because it would be obvious that the patina was artificially modified. Fortunately many times is only the photographer who use too much light to create a small art work who modifies the chromatic characteristics of the Ibeji. The best lights to use for maintaining the original color are the indirect ones, never more than three, with a light and homogeneous background. I am saying that because I have a significant experience, having done personally all the five hundred photos of the book “Encyclopedia of the Ibeji”. After over six thousand proofs, I came to the conclusion that was more correct to create a book with the true colors of the Ibeji, even if perhaps less closer to an art work.