22 April > 09 May 2021

The Ibeji collection from Dr. Leroy [Dagoty Auctions]


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Ends Sunday 09th May from 18:00 CEST onwards

Yvan Guerrin presents this online auction composed by 27 lots of Yoruba Ibeji figures (twins and triplets) from the collection of Doctor Fernand Leroy. 

Some lots have been exposed in the MUVACAN de Nantes (Musée Vivant des Arts et Civilisations d’Afrique à Nantes) in 2017, during the exhibition “Naître et grandir en Afrique entre tradition et temps presents).

About Yoruba people and Ibeji Art

Yoruba people form a large ethnic group which mainly occupies the southwest of Nigeria.

For genetic reasons, this ethnic group has the highest twinning rate in the world, i.e. one in 20 pregnancies!

The high perinatal mortality of this group, mainly due to the frequency of premature deliveries, has prompted the emergence of a cult where deceased twins are symbolized by wooden effigies called “Ibeji”.

On this general theme these statuettes present a stylistic diversity which reflects their varying regional origin.

ibidji collection

The collection's History

Fernand Leroy is doctor of medicine, surgery and childbirth. He was a research fellow at the FNRS, head of clinic in assisted procreation at the Saint-Pierre hospital in Brussels and also professor of obstetrical gynecology at the ULB of Brussels.

He has published extensively on twinning and he is the author of the book “Les jumeaux dans tous leurs états” (DeBoeck Université).

He is the father of monozygotic twins himself. This is how he came to study the social and cultural aspects of twinning in Africa and among the Yorubas in particular.

For more than 30 years and during his many travels, Doctor Leroy has been able to bring together a nice collection of pairs of Ibeji a selection of which is presented in this auction.




Go to Auction: The Ibeji Collection From Dr. Leroy

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