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Akintayo Akintobi


Encyclopedia of the Ibeji
By Fausto Polo


  • Hardover binding 

    12½ x 9½ x 2 inches

  • 660 pages

  • 510 full-page Ibeji singles or pairs plates in color

  • Available in English, French, German, or Italian

  • Published by Ibeji Art in 2008


The Encyclopedia of the Ibeji guides the beginner and the advanced collectors to the identification of the place of provenance of the Ibeji showing over 500 photos of classified Ibeji. Fausto Polo believes that the valid Ibeji carvers were between three and four hundred. The Ibeji carvers, like the great majority of the tribal carvers, have kept substantially unchanged through time their own carving characteristics, making very often the same model. It is then essential to have a book containing the photos of the Ibeji from each Yoruba carver who worked in a period of time between 1830 and 1960. This is what Fausto Polo wanted to accomplish by publishing this book. It was then very important to offer a very large selection of Ibeji’s photos, showing for each one the place of provenance, the degree of rarity, and, if known, the workshop of the carver. In the Encyclopedia of the Ibeji you will find 510 high quality beautiful Ibeji’s photo, singles or pairs. You will  also find:

  • a chapter dedicated to the carving characteristics of the Ibeji;

  • a chapter dedicated to the different types of patina of the Ibeji;

  • a chapter dedicated to the Ibeji carvers and their identifying place;

  • a chapter dedicated to an innovative method to evaluate qualitatively and economically the Ibeji, based on the carving characteristics and the patina;

  • a chapter dedicated to the expertise of the Ibeji, with some practical examples.