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Medium: One of a Kind Hand Carved Ebony Wood - Made out of one piece of wood
Height: 8 inches, 20 centimeters
Length: 1.5 inches, 4 centimeters
Region: Kenya, East Africa
Approximate Age: 34 years (1988)
Availability: In Stock, Available to Ship Immediately
Item Number: MS006
Condition: Excellent; Not previously owned; Undamaged
Markings: Artist’s Signature
Provenance Report: "Masaai Old Man"
Sourcing: Fair Trade
Certificate of Authenticity Provided
“Masaai Old Man” showcases the incredible, meticulous, and detail-driven talent of Nelson. Nelson hails from Kenya, East Africa and was raised in the Masaai tribe. He is known among the Masaai carvers as a man of relentless will, who will go to great and agonizing lengths to achieve perfection in his artwork. His choice of medium is not surprisingly ebony wood, as he is a believer in the importance of challenge in an artist’s career.
Ebony wood is one of the most valuable, rare, and expensive types of wood in the world; prized for its dark core. Ebony trees (Diospyros) are generally small and slow growing. The Greek name for ebony is Diospyros meaning 'fruit of the gods' and this wood is famous for its dark beauty and opulence. Because of its high density, texture, and waxiness, it is ideal for the production of fine artwork.
Currently, worldwide demand for ebony wood is at an all-time high while supply is an all all-time low. A factor that influences rarity is darkness: the darker the color of the ebony, the more valuable it is. Today, artworks from light brown-brown ebony trees (harvested at 50 years old) are being produced. However, darker woods, also known as “pure ebony” (that look black at first glance) have become increasingly hard for collectors to acquire. York’s Shona Gallery is one of the only African galleries with such dark ebony in the United States.
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