The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Paris, 25 June 2013
The sale of African and Oceanic art, held on 19 June at Christie’s Paris, made a total turnover of €7.896m, which is the best result ever for the department.
An important part of the record belongs to the Jolika Collection (Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco), which made $3.172m, becoming the most important collection of Oceanic art ever to be sold on auction. It is also worth noticing that the world record for a piece of Oceanian art was established with the sale of a Biwat Ridgepole Figure, issued from Mid-Yuat, Bas-Sépik, Papoua New Guinea, purchased for €2.505m, far beyond its high estimate of €1m.
In addition, a “Baga Snake” Bansonyi, issued from the Republic of Guinea, was sold for €2.337m and established a new record for Baga art.
Paris, 19 June 2013
On Tuesday 18 June 2013, Sotheby’s Paris held a sale devoted to African art. The session made a turnover of €3.7m, which was much lower than its previous estimates, between €5m and €7m. In addition, almost a half of lots remained unsold (64/120). Lots issued from the Françoise and Jean Corlay collection, featuring pieces originated mainly from Kongo, proved the most unsuccessful.
Among sold lots: an androgynous statue sold for €340,000, below its lowest estimate of €350,000; Songye head rest purchased for €420,000 much beyond its estimation between €120,000 and €180,000.
Finally the auction’s highlight, Yoruba Royal couple (Nigeria) remained unsold. Indeed, bids stopped at €880,000, while its estimation (on demand) was €1m.
Brussels, 4 June 2013
On 8 June 2013, auction house Native will be organising a sale of African and Oceanic items in Brussels.
Among the highlights of the session, let us mention a 16th-century Dogon altar piece from Mali, estimated between €20,000 and €30,000, a Senofu female figure from Ivory Coast, collected before 1940, also estimated between €20,000 and €30,000, Dan masks from Ivory Coast (from €2,000 to €10,000) and a Kanak roof finial, estimated between €10,000 and €15,000. Among other pieces from Oceania is a hei tiki pendant from New Zealand.
Finally, a major lot comprised of an ensemble of lime spatulas from Papua New Guinea, estimated between €800,000 and €1.2m.
New York, 17 May 2013
A rare canoe prow from the Maquesas Islands soared past its pre-sale estimate of $8,000-12,000 to sell for $70,900 dollars at Bonhams May 15 African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian Art auction at the Madison Avenue salesroom. It was the highest price realised for any Polynesian work of art at auction during Tribal Arts Week in New York.
Decorated with a classic Marquesan tiki figure, the wooden prow – or 'au 'au – would have been attached to the bow of a canoe. Marquesan 'au 'au show carved tiki figures seated and pushed backwards, as if by acceleration, and were primarily intended to be seen in profile as canoes sped through the water.
"This particular Marquesas prow is covered in linear tattooing and has especially naturalistic proportions, including fully articulated legs, which is very rare," explained Bonhams African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian Art Consultant, Fredric Backlar. "I always felt strongly that it was an exceptional example, and I am pleased bidders agreed."
The auction attracted [.../...]See more
New York, 13 May 2013
An extremely rare Chokwe architectural female figure from Angola dating to the early 20th century will lead Bonhams African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian Art auction on May 15 at the Madison Avenue salesroom (est. $90,000-120,000). Field-collected by Jacques Kerchache, the female figure, covered in ritualistic scarring, and has been widely published and featured in notable museum exhibitions. The well-sculpted head utilises black surfaces on the overall background of red to emphasise several important elements: the striped headdress, long eyebrows, coffee-bean eyes, and widened mouth, all of which has been enhanced with a white pigmentation, a symbol of authority in the Chokwe culture. Standing nearly four feet high, the impressive specimen would have been a part of an aristocratic household. Another superb example of the female form is a Baule Female Figure from the Ivory Coast (est. $20,000-30,000). Most likely carved in the 19th century or earlier, this stylized piece has an exceptional and highly [.../...]See more
Paris, 5 May 2013
On 19 May 2013, Christie’s Paris will be organising a sale devoted to African and Oceanic art.
117 lots will be on offer, estimated between €3.7m and €5.9m, including numerous pieces issued from the Celeste and Armand Bartos Collection. Among the highlights of the sale, let us mention an iconic Baga serpent from the Republic of Guinea, estimated between €800,000 and €1.2m; a Fang Head from Gabon, issued from the Charles Ratton Collection, estimated between €300,000 and €500,000.
Bidders will also be able to attend the dispersion of the Jolika Collection, built throughout the course of four decades by Marcia and John Friede and comprised of over 300 works: it is deemed one of the most important New Guinean art collections.
A selection of fourteen items of African art will be offered by the Art Institute of Chicago, with for instance a Baga D’mba headdress, estimated between €400,000 and €800,000.
A major Canadian collection will put on offer Royal Baham from Cameroon, a Commemorative [.../...]See more
Paris, 20 February 2013
At Drouot on 1 March, the Binoche & Giquello Society of Voluntary Sales will be auctioning over 100 items from the Claude Brignone collection of Tuareg art. This collection is comprised of jewellery, leather objects, weapons, carpets and a few canvases estimated at about €200 to €6,000. Tuareg art is not yet popular and this auction sale will be the first one dedicated to the theme.
As the descendent of a Sicilian family that settled in Tunisia in the 18th century, Claude Brigone was born in 1930 in Sousse, located in the Sahel region of Tunisia. Although having a military career, he was also an artist and his travels through the desert as well as his knowledge of the nomadic population allowed him to collect unique objects, many of which are rare and hard to find.
The auction sale will be extended to African, Oceanian and Amazonian art from Bordier’s and Marcel Isy-Schwart’s collections, as well as from divers private French collections, along with items from Native American art.
Paris, 14 December 2012
The sale of African and Oceanic art held on 12 December at Sotheby’s made a total turnover of €7,268,875 BPI, exceeding its previous estimation (between €4m and €5m).
Among the works put on sale, we might note an ensemble of high historical value pieces come from prestigious European collections: the Lemaire Collection (Netherlands), Krieg (Germany), Lejeune (Belgique) and Mendès-France (France). Arts of Central Africa have been particularly highlighted, but remarkable pieces of Oceanian art were purchased as well.
Marguerite de Sabran, head of the African and Oceanic art department for Sotheby’s France, declared “an iconic Biwat flute cap was sold tonight for almost €1.5m, reflecting the sale as a whole: a most refined selection of items, warmly welcomed by the public during the exhibition and by international collectors during the auction”.
The ancestral Biwat figure, from the Lemaire Collection – and previously from the Speyer Collection – is considered one of the most mysterious ritual [.../...]See more
Paris, 13 December 2012
The African art auction held at Christie’s Paris on 11 December made a striking turnover of €6m ($7,8m) and it turned out to be this year’s best sale of African art organised by the Parisian auction house. Amongst the pieces offered we might mention a Nkundu reliquary sold for €2.7m making the world’s best result for an African art piece in 2012. A Fang head, from the Pierre Berès collection, formerly owned by Charles Ratton and later by Félix Fénéon, fetched €385,000.
Two pieces belonging to Henri-Georges and Inès Clouzot were offered on sale as well. On the request of Inès Clouzot all the proceeds were handed over to the Secours catholique. These objects fetched respectively €16,250 for the Fang style head (lot 44) and €67,000 for a Dogon Bambou-Toro from Mali (lot 45). A Tabwa statue from Democratic Republic of Congo was purchased for €481,000, establishing another world record.
“The department is very pleased with the auction’s result, notably with the presence of numerous [.../...]See more
New York, 30 November 2012
Bonhams is thrilled with the results of its November 20 African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian Art sale in New York, which has been confirmed as Bonhams most successful sale of its kind to date. The auction was held in Bonhams compelling new gallery space at 580 Madison Avenue. The room was packed with attendees, and global buyers flooded the phone lines while others vied online. The wide variety of interested participants, and impressive sell-thru rate of the property, attest to the growing interest in this unique market.
Although Bonhams is already established as one of the leaders in the New York art market, new clients accounted for over twenty-five percent of the active bidders, doubtlessly drawn by the unparalleled pieces on offer. "Quality works of art, fresh to the market and with excellent provenance, did very well at all price levels" explained Bonhams Director of African, Oceanic & Pre-Colombian Art Frederic Backlar. Notable successes were found across regional categories as well. The top three lots all hailed from the [.../...]See more