ASK THE EXPERT - JULY 2016
Jean-Pierre from Belgium would like to know if the origin of this Ibeji (Iseyin) (H. 29 cm) is from the workshop of the FALADE family.
It is clearly an Ibeji from Iseyin. In Iseyin was located the workshop of the Falade family, where interesting and valid carvers worked. In particular, there are two carvers who, thanks to the work of William Fagg, are known by the African art collectors. The first one is Olumole, the founder of the Falade House. The second one is a carver only known as the "Master of the twisted figures". The reason for this name is the fact he carved the heads of the Ibeji twisted, normally to the right. In the pairs, only one of the Ibeji has the twisted head. In fact, as played in the local poetries, the first born twin twisted his head back waiting to be reached by the second twin. Olumole, the founder of the workshop, also carved the Ibeji with the twisted head. He also added another carving characteristic to the head of the Ibeji; he always carved the face looking up, with the front of the face reclined towards the back. The Ibeji shown here has the head twisted to the left and not looking up, therefore I believe it was carved by the "Master of the twisted figures". It is classified in the Encyclopedia of the Ibeji with the photo n. 415 and in the Catalogue of the Ibeji with the file n. 711. It is RARE.