The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Paris, 30 November 2015
Surveying the tribal art market from 2000 to 2015, a recently released Artkhade and Art Analytics report revealed exceptionally positive results for the category, documenting a growing trend towards multi-million-dollar auction sales and the increasing domination of the market by high-end works.
The study amassed a wide range of data to document tribal art’s growth as a sale category—though it still lags far behind the dominant Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary art segments of the market. Here, we have selected seven key figures from the report’s pages to explore what they tell us about the future of this “niche” market.
The tribal art market witnessed record sales in 2014, achieving €92.1 million from works sold at auction. Demonstrating the upward trajectory of the market, this result well surpassed the €52.8 million sold just one year previous, in 2013, never mind the €13.7 million of tribal art sold in 2001.
The year 2006 stands out [.../...]See more
Paris, 30 June 2015
The African and Oceanic art sale at Sotheby’s France that took place on 24 June 2015 amassed a sum of €11.1 million, exceeding its initial estimate of between €6.5 and €9.5 million. This event was also the auction house’s second best sale of arts in this field.
Four lots were sold for above €500,000, 14 for above €100,000, and two world records were broken. One of the masterpieces from the former Vérité collection, the Masque-double, Baulé, was sold for €5,411,000 although it was estimated to sell for between €2 million and €3 million. This made it the highest-selling lot of the auction and also broke the world record for a Baulé work such as the second highest price for a African mask. The second place was taken by a commemorative Akan head from Ghana, which was sold for €855,000, although its estimate was fixed between €200,000 and €300,000, establishing a new world record for a Akan work. The commemorative Fon Tchatchuang statue, Royaume de Batoufam, [.../...]See more
Paris, 10 June 2015
On 22 June 2015, the auction house Artcurial in Paris, France, is to organise a sale of Tribal art, including a piece from the former collection of French poet Paul Éluard.
Almost 70 rigorously selected works are to be offered for this sale. One of the objects offered is a remarkable baoulé mask, from the Ivory Coast, an asymmetrical Kpan headset, found in situ in around 1910. The fine features of the face are made spectacular by two horns on the forehead. This piece was conserved in a private French collection, and is estimated to sell for between €40,000 and €60,000. The highlighted lot of the sale is a Zandé-Nzakara harp from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, dating from before 1960, taken from the former collection of Éluard (estimated between €30,000 and €50,000). This previously unseen piece gives a glimpse into the richness of the collection of the French poet, and attests to his fascination for tribal art. The bevelled sound box is carefully covered in antelope skin, and boasts a delicate handle. The [.../...]See more
Paris, 8 June 2015
The Rubin Museum of Art has announced the appointment of Risha Lee as curator of exhibitions from 1 July 2015.
Currently the assistant curator of South and Southeast Asian art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Lee is known for her research on the confluence of politics and art on the South Asian region. In her new role, Lee will lead a multifaceted creative team to develop a forthcoming series of exhibitions, as well as collaborating with the curatorial staff at the Rubin for other exhibition projects. Rubin Museum’s Executive Director, Patrick Sears said of Lee’s appointment: “Risha’s energy, expertise, and leadership will help shape the exhibition program at the Rubin, connecting new audiences to the Himalayan region—and beyond, including India and China […] Her extensive research on the cross-cultural exchange of art, people, and ideas integrates well with our mission, and we’re thrilled she is joining our team.”
During her two years at the MIA, Lee worked on several [.../...]See more
Paris, 27 May 2015
Christie’s has announced the appointment of Stanislas Gokelaere as European consultant within their African & Oceanic Art Department.
Based in Paris, Stanislas Gokelaere is to work with Susan Kloman, international director of the department and Pierre Amrouche, international consultant. His arrival should strengthen the department’s activity in Europe, boosting Parisian sales in particular. The growing demand for African and Oceanic art, both from collectors as well as enthusiasts of other art forms such as Impressionist, Modern, and contemporary art, provides a strategic growth opportunity for Christie’s. The auction house intends to meet this demand by organising two annual sales in Paris in June and December 2015.
Raised in a family of modern art dealers, Stanislas Gokelaere has been personally collecting African and Oceanic art for over 20 years. Christie’s new employee has also worked in the private equity field and co-founded and directed the Art Collection Fund, an art [.../...]See more
Luxembourg, 17 May 2015
Stanislas Gokelaere is a Luxembourg-based collector who started out in the world of capital-investment, and the co-founder of Art Collection Fund, an investment fund whose objective is to assemble a collection of high quality modern and contemporary art, in addition to African and Oceanic arts. The son of art dealers, and with a passion for art and 20th-century design, over the last 15 years Gokelaere has built a strong reputation in the art world. AMA had the opportunity to meet with him.
S. G.: These days, I would say the divide is a slightly different one. Galleries are also aiming at the higher end of the market in addition to the middle market. In the auction market we are, however, seeing many excellent collections up for sale, and plenty of very important sales. The auction [.../...]See more
Paris, 12 December 2014
On 10 December 2014 Sotheby’s Paris realised €12 million in sales of Oceanic and African art including the sale of the Alexis Bonew collection which brought in €6.2 million of the day’s turnover.
This, the last sale of the year for the African and Oceanic arts department, realised almost half of the department’s total sales for the year — €26 million, a record for the auction house. The large majority of the Alexis Bonew collection was acquired, including a muminia Lega mask, realising €3,569,500, the second highest price ever realised for an African mask, whilst the Nkonde statue almost doubled its high estimate of €800,000, bringing in a total of €1,553,500.
The second sale of the day featured various amateur works from Oceania and the African continent, with the record for the most expensive work from Easter Island being broken during the sale. The piece in question is a Rapa, an abstraction of the human form, which realised €1,889,500, far [.../...]See more
Paris, 3 December 2014
On 10 December 2014, Artcurial will be holding their second Tribal Art sale of the year, offering the contents of three major private collections.
The first collection, belonging to Liuba and Ernesto Wolf, comprises 127 African spoons; the second, belonging to M. and Mme Robert Hendrickx from Brussels, includes a historic group of 15 Dogon sculptures; and the third, from Paris, comprises 24 combs. The sale also includes a royal Luba pipe from the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as an extremely rare Guro mask, by the Master of Bouaflé, from the Ivory Coast.
“Artcurial’s decision to make Tribal Art a permanent department demonstrates the confidence that we have in this speciality. The wonderful quality of the work presented in the sale, the documented and prestigious provenance and the coherence of the collections offered, will appeal to a demanding and highly competitive market”, said Artcurial.
New York, 11 November 2014
During Sotheby’s New York’s Tuesday evening sale on 11 November, an African statue originating from either the Ivory Coast or Burkina Faso reached $12 million (premium included).
The piece comes from the collection of the late businessman Myron Kunin whose fortune was built on his hair salon chain. Prior to Kunin, the statue had passed through the hands of collectors including sculptor Arman, psychologist Werner Muensterberger and curator William Rubin and has also been exhibited at MoMA New York and at the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland. The Sikasso-style piece’s Modernist qualities have been compared to the work of Alberto Giacometti, the early 20th-century Swiss sculptor.
French newspaper Le Figaro reports a fierce bidding war between French dealer Bernard Dulon, who dropped out at $8.8 million, and a telephone bidder who took the piece, possibly for the collection of a prestigious North American Museum, according to Bernard de Grunne who initially sold the piece for $1 [.../...]See more
Beijing, 26 October 2014
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2 to 5% of global GDP is laundered money; in currency, $800 million to $2 trillion. The art market, notoriously opaque and uncontrollable, is one in which a staggering amount of this criminal activity takes place, where ‘dirty’ money obtained from illegal activity is laundered into legal tender. Worldwide cases of money laundering and illegal activity conducted through the purchase and sale of artwork are far from uncommon, with cases involving high profile figures such as Edemar Cid Ferreira, the Brazilian ex-banker who laundered millions of dollars through a collection of 12,000 works, and art dealer Helly Nahmad, who was caught on tape arranging the price increase of a Raoul Dufy painting he was selling, and explaining his plans to split the profit with another member of his gambling ring.
However, the phenomenon is particularly rife in the Asian art market, with one auctioneer estimating that 30%-50% of works in the market are related to the [.../...]See more