Head of a Saint, Goa. First Half of 18th Century.
Sir Raffles Art & History is Charles Mandel’s collection of antique Santos and ethnographic collectibles, mostly carved wood. See current selection on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SirRafflesArtHistory
The subject of this carving is a head representing Jesus, or more likely, one of the saints.
Condition Report: The head is 11.25″, with the stand it is 18″.
Comments: Based on similar examples, I believe that this piece is from Goa. Goa lies just off the west coast of India and was a Portuguese colony for many years. It was once part of a full statue of a large size. It appears that it was carved in the earlier part of the 18th century. It makes a very fine display.
Whatever the culture, there can be no more important art than that used as an aid for communicating with the divine. I have always found devotional artifacts fascinating to collect; there is no better way to connect with a past culture than through the objects that were important to it. Collecting santos figures is particularly gratifying. The subject, the style and the methods of production combine to tell the tale of what the individuals in that culture valued.
I have been collecting artifacts and religious objects for many years, specializing in Asian and European vintage carvings. Don’t hesitate to ask about other stock that I might have that is not listed here.
Sir Raffles Art and History
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