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Rare Cotton Gin with Ancestor or Guardian Figures

Availability: In Stock
Price: £585.00

Rare Timor Cotton Gin with Ancestor or Guardian Figures
30h x 43w x 8cm (12 x 17 x 3 inches)


This extraordinary and intricately carved Cotton Gin (mangle) features no less than 20 ancestor or guardian figures, and is in perfect working order.  Cotton gins are used to de-seed the cotton bolls prior to processing for spinning and weaving.  A small plank is put across the bottom support which the operator sits on to steady the gin during use.


Both sides of this cotton gin are identically carved. The two main supports have traditional Timor diamond motifs on their sides, and terminate with the inward-facing head and shoulders of a guardian figure.  Four small seated figures each measuring 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) have been carved down both edges of the roller support posts, while the handle features two more, one on each side. The two panels above the roller are carved with a geometrical diamond motif.


Originally from the central highlands of Timor this cotton gin is believed to date from the end of the 19th century or early 20th century and was purchased in Sumba in the late 1980s.  It is a fascinating object, beautifully carved, and an excellent example of traditional Timorese craftsmanship.


There are some minor scuffs and chips to one or two of the extremities of the lower figures (see photo) but it is otherwise in exceptional condition for something so old and intricately carved.  This cotton gin will be of particular interest to collectors of ethnic hand-woven textiles.

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