Dogon Door Lock - Mali

A fine Dogon door lock surmounted by two seated figures. The angular features of the pair are emphasized by strict rectilinear shapes, echoed at the bottom of the lock's face by a strip of projecting squares.

Used to protect houses and granaries, Dogon door locks were affixed to house doors with large metal staples and ranged stylistically from abstract forms to more defined representations of ancestors. Placing an ancestor image on a lock offered additional protection by making the door sacrosanct. This lock does not retain its crossbolt.

Late 19th century
H: 10 3/4" W: 3"
Ex Sotheby's New York, 1983; Private New York collection
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