“The train is ready to leave.” Following the construction of the railway in Ghana in 1901, trains were Incorporated into the motif repertoire of Asafo Companies as a symbol of strength and invincibility. Another unusual and distinctive mid C20th flag from an as yet unidentified master flagmaker at the Anomabo workshop, made for Kyirem No.6 Company in Anomabo. This company is well known to lovers of African art for it’s unique boat shaped posuban shrine that was on the cover of Cole And Ross’s classic book The Arts of Ghana (1977.) This is the most detailed of numerous depictions of trains on Asafo flags and may be compared with another from the same workshop but a different hand, made for the same company, illustrated as Figure 3.16 in Forni & Ross, Art, Honor, and Ridicule (2017:61-62.) The authors discuss the Anomabo workshop style, noting that unlike other flag workshops paper templates were not used, the proportion and colouring of figures was more naturalistic, and the applique designs were edged with machine embroidered lines throughout. This flagmaker takes these traits further than the two artists identified at the Anomabo workshop, Mr McCarty and Kwamina Amoaku (1895-1985), depicting the musculature of his figures and details of motifs in an unprecedented way. See Figure 3.90 and Figure 3.107 in Forni & Ross for two other flags by the same hand, dated by the authors to 1945. All use the same odd synthetic red fabric for the ground, suggesting that they were made together over a relatively short period. Condition is good, has a few small holes.
Measurement: 63 inches x 31 ins, 160 cm x 79cm
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