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These genuine, used sculptural objects are still commonly in use today by many people in the Dogon country of Mali. The longer ones are used to reach the roof of a house; the shorter ones to access thatch-topped adobe granaries. Many are also still in use among other tribal groups, including the Lobi of Ivory Coast and the Somba (or Tamberma) of Togo. We have these types as well. This ladder is among the most beautiful: the oldest, most used. Most evident of its age and use is the appearance of patina, which covers nearly the entire front facing part of the ladder, which is quite rare. Patina is even evident on the back of the ladder in isolated areas, which not only shows how it was carried, but also that it was quite stationary for most of its use. Patina only comes from human skin, specifically, the hands and feet. Some are free-standing, mounted on iron bases; some are un-mounted. Towards the base of this ladder it appears to have evidence of bug intrusions, which is common among all old African items that sit on the ground.
This ladder was personally purchased by D.R. Spetka almost 30 years ago during one of his travels to Mali. Since this was one of his finest ladders, it remained in his personal collection until now.
This ladders dimensions are 62" high x 17" wide at the top, With a built in stand to keep it upright. It is a fairly heavy ladder weighing around 100 pounds.
|5251 Irish Ridge Rd, Chittenango, NY 13037|