Prestige Display Bottle
Height: 12 1/2 ins; 32 cm
Diameter: 3 ins; 8 cm
First half, 20th century
Woven fiber covering for a European wine bottle, natural grasses, green and purple dyes
Provenance: a colonial-era Belgian collection
These rare objects were made for display in the elegant interiors of Tutsi elite homes and are clearly an adaptation and innovation upon the renowned basketry arts of the region.
The tradition originates in similarly covered ritual gourds for drinking palm wine which are seen in the earliest European collections of Central African art, dating from the 1600s.