Wilfred Cheama is credited as one of the innovators who first carved realistic fetishes. He has won innumerable prizes for his amazingly detailed work.
He and his brothers were mentored by Dan Quam, considered the Dean of naturalistically carved fetishes.
This double lizard carving is astounding, even for Wilfred. Every detail is deeply carved and cleanly visible.
It is carved from one chunk of brown serpentine, and not only features the lizards’ physical details but also has carved the rock on which they are resting. That is very unusual.
The lizards’ scaly bodies are meticulously carved, their proportions are clearly realistic, as are the way their heads are looking around, warily, ready to scuttle off.
One of Wilfred’s signature features is the long, sinuous tail of each lizard. One of them is completely cut out, as are the bodies of both lizards.
This requires complete control and understanding of the stone and of technique, so it doesn’t just break apart.
As the reptiles cling to the outcropping, the artist has carved this into a series of rocks, seen on either side.
The brilliant blue of their inlaid turquoise eyes is a handsome contrast to the browns of the serpentine.
With amazing skill, this exceptional double lizard fetish is animated, realistic, and scrupulously detailed.
Well, it was carved by Wilfred Cheama, an acknowledged Master, after all.