Handcrafted Wooden African - Human Character

Just a small selection of the incredible range of authentic African Tribal and Ceremonial Masks and Verdite Carvings from Africa currently on show in their magnificent Adderley street showroom.

It is said that 'great age brings great wisdom' - with over a century of experience behind them, Kottlers of Cape Town provides only the highest quality African Wooden Figurines by avoiding the pitfalls and mistakes that many other African Carvings suppliers have made in the past.

Ivory Blade Carving Motif

1. Blade 59 cm, overall 81.5 cm. Ivory grip with iron pommel and ferrule. Overlay in silver and copper on pommel and ferrule in a floral design. Silver and copper overlay on the spine and flat of the blade forming a sinuous vegetal pattern called chu-pan (hook-like foliage); floral pattern on the false edge. Text along spine in brass overlay, reading Saya Bo let ya (“handiwork of Saya Bo”).

2. Blade 49.5 cm, overall 68 cm. Rayskin grip with silver pommel and ferrule. Overlay in silver on the flat of the blade in the pattern chu-pan, interspersed with swallows in flight. Simple wave pattern on the spine, with false edge unadorned.

3. Blade 68 cm, overall 97 cm. Contemporary replacement grip in lacquered wood and brass. Overlay in silver in a simple acheik (waved) pattern on spine; more complex acheik pattern along false edge. Silver overlay on flat of the blade in the pattern chu-pan, surrounding crouching lions. The decorated area of the false edge is surrounded by a straight line border, the decorated area on the flat by a double border, waved and straight.

4. Blade 51 cm, overall 79 cm. Ivory grip with silver ferrule and lotus pommel. Overlay in silver along spine and false edge of the blade in acheik pattern. Silver overlay on the flat of the blade in the pattern maw-pan (floral scrolling) surrounding the figures of a man, two tigers, a hare, a lion, a stag, a monkey, two fantastical figures half man, half bird, and a rooster.

5. Blade 62 cm, overall 83 cm. Grip of carved antler, steel, brass, and silver. Overlay in silver on spine and false edge in an acheik pattern, with a single straight border; silver overlay on flat of the blade in the pattern maw-pan, framing vignettes with figures and text from the Jataka story of Princess Bedi. Additional dedicatory text in silver overlay on the left-side forte.

6. Blade 61 cm, overall 82.5 cm. Silver grip with niello decoration in the pattern maw-pan, surrounding prancing monkeys, lions, and birds in flight. Overlay in silver on the spine and false edge of the blade in a simple acheik pattern, with a straight border (double on the spine, single on the false edge); silver overlay on flat of the blade in the pattern maw-pan surrounding scenes from the story of (King) Thiha Bahu Min and the Nat Min, and accompanying text.

7. Blade 65 cm, overall 91 cm. Grip of silver with lotus pommel with niello. Overlay in silver on the spine and false edge of the blade in an acheik pattern, with straight-line borders; silver overlay on flat of the blade in the pattern maw-pan, surrounding scenes from the Tale of the Shwe Hpyin Brothers, with accompanying text. Niello decoration on the grip repeats the maw-pan motif, with enlarged detail presentations of story highlights.

8. Blade 51 cm, overall 78 cm. A contemporary dha, with a grip of chased brass over wood, once washed with silver that has now disappeared. Silver overlay on flat of the blade showing scenes from the Jataka story of Maha Bandoola, with accompanying text, interspersed with sparse areas of chu-pan. Spine unadorned. dharesearch.bowditch.us

Turkish Wood Carving - Very Unique

Artefacts found in the burial mounds of Central Asia and excavations at Pazırık have demonstrated that the Turks have engaged in the various arts of wood working and decoration from early times.

Woodwork, as an art, was born of the decoration of architectural elements. In Islamic art, particularly that of the Omeyyads (661-750) and Abbasids (750-1100), we find the emergence of a distinctive new style, and this was followed in the 11th to 13th centuries by that of the Seljuk Turks, who produced exquisitely carved pulpits, lecterns and caskets, as well as doors and other architectural elements.

The rumis and palmettes, as well as inscriptions in the Seljuk writing used as decorations on lecterns made of solid walnut are striking examples surviving from the Seljuk era. However, it was the Ottomans who carried this art to its highest level.

The Ottomans generally worked with plant and geometric motifs in the 15th century; they used ivory and pearl engraving techniques, particularly on the Koran covers and lecterns of the 15th century.

Ottoman wooden art featured column capitals, cornices, chest of drawers, wardrobe covers, doors and windows, rostrums, lecterns, the Koran covers, shelves, boxes and drawers made of boxwood, linden, oak, walnut, apple, pear, cedar, rose and ebony. Having mastered the wood-working techniques of the Anatolian Seljuks, Ottoman craftsmen developed the “Kündekari” technique.

The Kündekari technique
The Kündekari technique, of which the earliest examples were found in Egypt, Aleppo and Anain the12th century, involves fixing small geometric pieces together with grooves. No nails or other fixatives are used. Thus, the works of art created with this technique have survived until today without being damaged by the environment. The grains of individual pieces were placed crosswise, so moisture or heat would not pass from one to another. As a result, works of kündekari art have maintained their good condition and smoothness throughout centuries.

• Skylife, 4/ 98, “The Story of Turkish Wood Carving” by Devrim Erakalın
• Türk Sanatı (Turkish Art), Doğan Kuban. Source:www.motiftr.com.

Decoration and Motif within a Gothic Cathedral

# Altarpiece : An individual or group of panels or screens located near or on the altar.

# Annulet : A circular finishing found on pillars or piers, sometimes decorated with carvings.

# Archivolt : An ornamental molding seen often in arch shaped portals following the lines of the face with sculpted figures.

# Armatures : Iron framework used within mason-less Rose Windows to support the glass weight.

# Ball flower : An ornamented ball sculpture surmounted in the petals of a flower.

# Bar tracery : The dominant class of Tracery consisting of decorative patterns formed from stone bars..

# Boss (Rib-boss) : Ornamental masonry strips used to conceal the breaks in vault work.

# Chevron :An ancient European design motif consisting of a pattern of pointed zig zags.

# Cinquefoil : A five sided design of converging arcs, often used in frame work.

# Cornice : A decorative horizontal outcropping serving to crown a wall or column.

# Crockets : A distinctive Gothic motif formed of floral and leaf ornamentation. Primarily used on spire and pinnacle sculpture.

# Cusp : Found within Tracery decoration to form the meeting point of foils.

# Fan vaulting : An intricate form of Tracery in which the ribs of a Vault arch out in a concave fan pattern.

# Fillet : Delicate adornment strips applied to shafts and archways along the moldings.

# Finial : An ornamental capping piece placed atop spires.

# Fluting : Carved vertical groove work found on Piers, Columns and Pillars.

# Foils : A small arc design used in Tracery, often utilized within Rose Windows.

# Grisaille : A stained glass window incorporating muted tones as opposed to bright colors.

# Grotesques : A class of decorative sculpture forms often found in or on Gothic structures. A term used broadly for gargoyles, although traditionally a gargoyle serves as a drainage spout for rain water, while a grotesque may function solely as decoration.

Gothic History View the Foundation Stone about Gargoyles

# Lierne vaulting : Vaults containing small decorative rib work not originating from the corners; primarily found in England.

# Moldings : Carved contours given to Piers and columns to exploit optical effects of light.

# Ogee arches : An arch formed by the meeting of two double curves forming a long S shape; a definitive design of the Gothic era.

# Pinnacle :A vertical ornament forming the spire of a turret.

# Predella : A series of small images or carvings at the base of an altarpiece.

# Quadratura : An intended architectural illusion used to create the sense of a larger room.

# Reredos : An elaborate wall carving or screen utilized primarily on or behind the high Altar.

# Spandrels : The semi-triangular space formed by arches and the moldings surrounding them.

# Vesica Pisces : The oval shape created by the intersecting of two equal circles. A ancient symbolic motif which has great significance within many cultures. In Christianity the form represents the sacred Body of Christ. source:www.elore.com.

Horn, Bone, Ivory Carving of Kerala

Horn, Bone, Ivory Carving of Kerala

Horn as a raw material that is available almost everywhere. Craftspersons use the grain of the material and the variations in colour to great advantage. Buffalo horn carving is carried out in Trivandrum, Trichur, Kasaragod, Ernakulam, and Cochin.The horn which is hard softens and becomes pliable when it heated and oiled. Common products include models of birds and animals, toy furniture, and miniature snake boats. Utilitarian items like paper weights, vases, buttons, trays, little boxes, pen stands, lamps, cigarette cases, and ashtrays are also made. Kerala cranes are particularly famous as are animals like elephants and tigers.

Till the ban on ivory Kerala was reputed for its ivory carving and Trivandrum was the most important centre. Earlier the products made were images of deities and sacred animals. The ivory carvers have now shifted to bone and wood. They continue to carving mythological figures and natural objects. The more common representations are of Shivga as Nataraja, Shiva-Parvati, Ganesh, Subrahmanya, Vishnu Saraswathi, and Lakshmi. Carving is done with a chisel very gently to avoid damage. Apart from carving, designs are also etched on to the surface. Floral or geometrical patterns, birds, animals, and jungle scenes are carved in bass relief. Another speciality of Kerala is a set of over 100 miniature elephants sealed in a small shell with a diameter of 0.5 cm.

Kerala also had a rich tradition of ivory painting. The area to be painted was smoothened with sandpaper and the outline of the picture was sketched on it in pencil. It was pierced with a needle and water colours applied on the surface with a pointed brush so that the colour penetrated the little holes. From:www.craftandartisans.com

Elephant Bronze Sculpture

Basking in the Indonesia sunlight, an elephant projects solemn elegance and mighty strength. Sukaenah portrays the pachyderm with rounded contours, faceless and yet expressive. Her bronze sculpture mirrors her artistic versatility as she masters the rigeurs of modern art.

This hand-crafted product may present miniscule pores that are imprinted from the casting process. Source: www.sculpture.novica.com.