The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Paris, 17 September 2018
Handovers to the next generation, a rise in the number of objects on sale, the creation of events on the market, a change in the way players behave... 2017 was a good year for arts hailing from outside Europe, but it looks like it might have been a transition period.
For around twenty years now, both auction figures and observations made by dealers and experts have attested to a healthy growing tribal-art market, which tends to be stable in its practices. In auction rooms, 2017 confirmed these sound results with a return to growth after two fairly flat years. Achieving a turnover of a little over €80 million, this is the second-best year in the history of the market (which includes classical African, Oceanian, pre-Colombian and North American arts) following an exuberant2014. This year, Sotheby’s sold the Frum and Myron Kunin collections, which together accounted for sales totalling €45.5 million. A hefty enough figure to tip the scales... “The market is doing very well,” enthuses Laurent Dodier, a French dealer and valuer from [.../...]See more
Paris, 15 September 2018
There are certain auction sales that mark their time by establishing a new trend or signalling a change in era. This was what the Victor Choquet sale did for Cézanne, or Sean Scully for Pop Art. And perhaps Pierre Loos will trigger the popularity of Congolese modern artists in a similar way?
“During my three-part sale, fifty years of my life are going to go by, corresponding with what I am, my desire to transmit things to others. For someone like me who’s had the luck to travel, leaving without transmission is like running away like a thief. While some construct walls, I prefer bridges.” The renowned Belgian dealer is getting set to sell part of his large collection over three consecutive sales to be held at Piasa on 17 and 18 September.
The first will be for ethnographic and primitive arts – around 500 lots whose estimates tend towards fairly reasonable prices. Up for grabs will be numerous headrests, Kuba textiles from Kasai (which Pierre Loos helped to bring to public attention), and votive statuettes...
The second sale will be [.../...]See more
Paris, 15 March 2018
On Monday 9 April and Tuesday 10 April 2018, Christie’s Paris is holding two sales starring tribal art from Africa, America and Oceania.
On Monday 9 April, 149 Pre-Columbian art objects from Ilya and Marina Prigogine’s collection will go on sale. A Belgian physicist and chemist of Russian origins, Ilya Prigogine won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1977. He started collecting tribal art in 1960s with his wife, and filled out the collection towards the end of his life.
African, American and Oceanic pieces will be on offer, but the highlight will be the exceptional lot featuring Mexican sculptures. The latter are a unique testimony to Olmec culture and the Chontal and Mezcala tribes that lived in the mountainous regions of Guerrero.
Little remains known about the lives of these peoples, but most of the objects at the sale probably held a ritual function. The sale’s climax will be a set of anthropomorphic figurines dated between 300 and 100 B.C. A talk introducing the collection will also be given on 5 April 2018 by Alex Arthur (Tribal [.../...]See more
Paris, 15 September 2017
They’re the ones who murmur into the ears of collectors. Gallerists play a crucial role in the tribal-art economy. For this special issue, a number of them, each with their own specialities, have agreed to share their feelings on the sector. Confidences.
At auctions, the eclectic nature of the tribal-art market indicates sure growth in the long term, both in terms of the number of lots placed on sale and their proceeds, even if the last three years have seen heavy fluctuations, if not a slight decline. However, by overshadowing the reality of the world of dealers, auction results are only a partial indicator of the health of a sector characterised by deep restructuring. Between a generational shift among collectors, sourcing difficulties, and a complex balance between auction houses and dealers, what does the future hold?
Collectors: a new generation takes the reins? In the eyes of Alain Lecomte from the gallery Abla & Alain Lecomte, specialised in ancient African arts, there’s no doubt about it: the sector is in for a shakeup: “The [.../...]See more
Paris, 4 September 2017
Stratospheric-level auctions, overheated prices… The market for archaeological and tribal pieces is booming! We retrace the phenomenon of star status for these highly coveted objects. An issue that we examine by seeing what dealers, collectors and members of the scientific community have to say…
Ever since the start of the 2000s, the tribal-art market has literally exploded, with its turnover jumping up from €13.7 million in 2001 to €92.1 in 2014. Despite this strong growth, tribal art remains a marginal market, which represents only 0.68 % of the global turnover of art auction sales, in other words, 40 times less than the proportion occupied by modern art, according to a report published by Artkhade and Art Analytics in December 2015.
Largely in front, Africa and Oceania leave other geographical zones behind in the shadows. Between 2000 and 2014, these two continents represented 64.8 % of lots offered at auctions and 81 % of the sector’s total sales proceeds. Above all, the market’s growth has been accompanied by a [.../...]See more
Brussels, 4 September 2017
D.C.: The market has evolved considerably in the last decade. With the first major public sales of African art, for example the sale of the Hubert Goldet collection in 2001, works reached heights sometimes going over the million-euro mark, which was something completely new. Next, let’s not forget that the major auction houses would traditionally organise their sales in Amsterdam, London or New York. Now, Sotheby’s and Christie’s each hold two African-art sales per year in Paris. Fairs such as the Parcours des Mondes or the BRUNEAG, its Brussels twin, have also expanded. But the main triggering phenomenon was the inauguration of the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, a great step for the acceptance of this art. For dealers, the role of these institutions is primordial as they enable offering a less ethnographic view of these collections; the public would now see an African-art object as it would see a painting. And we hope to obtain the same impact in Belgium with the [.../...]See more
Paris, 3 September 2017
To celebrate the 40th birthday of the Musée Barbier-Mueller, the Biennale Paris is welcoming a selection of 130 works from this Swiss family’s personal collections. An opportunity to retrace a passion and a saga.
For the Barbier-Muellers, collecting is part of the family history… It started off with the grandfather, Josef Mueller, then continued with the mother, Monique, the father, Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, and today the three sons, Gabriel, Stéphane, Thierry, as well as Diane, one of the granddaughters. Four generations of collectors that the Biennale Paris has chosen to honour through a selection of works from their collection, some of which have never been unveiled to the public. “The idea was to set up a dialogue between major pieces from four generations of collectors with very different tastes by recreating the atmosphere of Josef Mueller’s apartment, where modern paintings stood alongside primitive-art objects,” is the way that Laurence Mattet, director of the Musée Barbier-Mueller in Geneva, puts it. Sculptures and [.../...]See more
Paris, 3 November 2016
On 15 and 16 December, the auction house Millon, in collaboration with Christie’s, will be selling, at the Hôtel Drouot, a selection of pieces from Madeleine Meunier’s estate. The 15 December will feature nearly 80 African and Oceania art objects, and nearly 60 archaeological lots collected by Aristide Courtois and Charles Ratton, which have remained in the shadows for nearly half a century. The 16 December sale will be for furniture, silverware, jewellery and other objects belonging to Madeleine Meunier.
Paris, 24 October 2016
Several dates have been set for dispersing the tribal, modern and contemporary art collection of film director Claude Berri (1934 – 2009), comprising over 400 works, at Christie’s in Paris. During the 43rd edition of the FIAC, 80 lots of post-war and contemporary works were offered for sale, on 22 October. Artists represented included Wim Delvoye with his pigskin tattooed with Mickey et Minnie (2005), estimated at between €1 and 1.5 million, Jean Dubuffet with his ink work Paysage (1960), expected to fetch about €50,000, and Tatiana Trouvé with her Untitled (2005) charcoal drawing, estimated at between €10,000 and €15,000. A photograph sale is being organised on 12 November during the Paris Photo fair. The auction house has also set a sales session for tribal art, on 13 December.
London, 27 August 2016
Bryan Reeves has stood for a certain vision of tribal art and culture ever since he launched the Tribal Perspectives fair in 2007. Since then, the event has grown, changed its name and venue by moving into The Mall Galleries to become Tribal Art London. At the start of September, Art Media Agency with Artkhade went to London, winding through the fair’s alleys, to meet Bryan Reeves.
B. R.: I like introducing Tribal Art London as a cultural fair. Our exhibitors cover all fields of tribal art around the globe, and we have a well-developed conference programme, offering debates in fields as wide as culture or ethnography — the aim being to increase understanding of tribal art without contenting ourselves with merely being a strictly commercial fair. Today, the fair is heading to its ninth birthday. When we started, we were no more than a small exhibition with three dealers — “Tribal Perspectives”. We gradually developed the fair, then moved to a fantastic spot, [.../...]See more