Wilfred Cheama was one of the innovators who first carved realistic fetishes, and has won many prizes for his detailed work.
This captivating cougar looks more playful than imposing, but the carving is admirably naturalistic, as always.
Carved from one piece of Picasso marble, including the base, every detail is deeply carved and cleanly visible.
Proportionate to the real animal – maybe a young one? – the pelt is textured to resemble fur, the characteristic ears are pointy, and the entire muzzle is impressively meticulous in its realism.
He is shown clinging to a rock, ready to spring. Is he hunting, or playing? With his big, blue turquoise eyes, it could be either.
As seen from the side and back, this was carved out from one block of stone, with amazing skill.
Animated, full of motion, and with the variations of the stone nicely manipulated, this is a wonderful fetish.
Well, it is by Wilfred Cheama, one of the acknowledged Masters, after all.