The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Brussels, 20 January 2020
No less than 356 objects or groups of works of art from Africa, the Pacific and the Americas will be offered for sale by the German auction house Lempertz on 29 January starting at 2 p.m. at its Brussels branch in Rue du Grand Cerf. Most of the pieces put up for sale come from prestigious collections of primitive art, and the great tutelary figures of the discipline, such as Philippe Guimiot, Charles Hug, Leo Stappers and Giovanni Battista Belzoni, will undoubtedly bring a guarantee of quality to this first session of the year at Lempertz.
Estimated between 15,000 and 20,000 euros, a Jaraï funerary statue (lot 356), collected by Guimiot in the early 1970s in Vietnam, is one of the leading figures of this sale, along with two totems brought back by the Belgian merchant from the islands of Babar and Leti (lots 354 and 355, estimated between 10,000 and 15,000 euros), located in the Indonesian archipelago of the Moluccas. “After returning from his stay in Africa, Philippe Guimiot made several trips to Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, [.../...]See more
Brussels, 19 January 2020
For its first auction of the year, the Brussels auction house Native is offering, on 25 January, starting at 7 p.m., a selection of 97 primitive art, modern art and 20th-century design objects or groups of objecs, all in all a heterogeneous selection.
Among the pieces of tribal art on sale is a spectacular 38-centimetre high wooden mask from Songye (DRC), estimated by experts between 150,000 and 250,000 euros. “This mask represents a beautiful synthesis of the greatest artistic expressions of Central Africa: the sensual beauty of the Luba and the fascinating strength of the Songye, two tribes linked by common ancestors,” explains Nicolas Paszukiewicz and Sébastien Hauwaert, Native’s two executives who opened their auction house in 2011 in Brussels’ Sablon after working for German auction house Lempertz. “The combination of the two styles is typical of the border area between the two tribes.” This mask (lot 37), probably collected by a Belgian settler in the 1920s, belonged to Liège collector Paul Gilman, then to Brussels [.../...]See more
Paris, 5 November 2019
Pieces that should be displayed in museums. For its sale of African and Oceania arts on 14 November in Drouot, Binoche & Giquello is focusing on exceptional works, particularly with the dispersion of the Maurice Nicaud collection and the masks from Burkina Faso from Thomas G. B. Wheelock.
The Nicaud collection marks the end of his succession. This final session illustrates the epic story of this collector-dealer who, like Helene Kamer, was one of the first to bring back traditional objects from Guinea in the early 1950s, before the country fell entirely under the control of President Sékou Touré at the time of the country’s independence in 1958. “What allowed Maurice Nicaud – or Hélène Kamer – to bring back those very beautiful objects was also this very specific political situation,” explains Patrick Caput, the sales expert. Even before becoming president, Sékou Touré had already tried to destroy animist cultures. Around the same time, a number of Muslim preachers arrived in the villages and martyred the populations, burning the [.../...]See more
Brussels, 30 September 2019
Opened in 2011, at 5 rue Ruysbroeck, in the Sablon district of Brussels, by two former collaborators of the German company Lempertz, on 5 October at 6 pm the Native gallery and auction house organises its fourth auction session of the year (the second one to have been catalogued) dedicated to the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
Brought together from several private collections, 102 lots will be offered, including a Songye bust in horn, pins in brass, metal and various other materials, which, since the 1970s, has passed through the Pierre Dartevelle and Philippe Guimiot galleries, before its acquisition by a Belgian amateur, whose heirs wished to remain anonymous. This piece, estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 euros, could be part of a group of four sculptures with the same stylistic characteristics of the Second Tradition, according to François Neyt, author of the book Songye : Redoutable statuaire Songye d’Afrique centrale and specialist of the culture of Bantu people living in the south-east of the Democratic Republic of [.../...]See more
Vienna, 1st July 2019
Jan Joris Visser, in house tribal art specialist, has brought together three collections of 87 lots to be auctioned on 8 July at Dorotheum in Vienna. These objects, originating from Africa, Asia and Oceania, and numerous pieces from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, herald from the collections of Benno Mattel, Carlo Monzino and Willem Visser.
The latter is not related to the auction house specialist, he was the very first white doctor sent by the Dutch government to the Asmat region of Papua, where his health missions to the most remote tribes and villages earned him several hundred “gifts”. This unique collection was loaned to the Royal Ethnographic Museum (now the Museum of Ethnology) in Leiden, the Netherlands, and has not been exhibited for 70 years.
“Benno Mattel was a very secret collector, of whom we know little, with the exception of his collection, which today belongs for the most part to national museums in Uruguay [in particular the MAAM, Museo de Arte Americano de Maldonado, editor’s note],” says Visser.
Carlo Monzino is, [.../...]See more
New York, 8 May 2019
No less than 115 works of African and Oceanic art will be on display at the Bonhams auction in New York on May 13, starting at 5pm.
“This careful and rigorous selection comes from several private American collections, but also from Europe and the Pacific region,” says Fred Backlar, US-based primitive arts specialist and consultant for the British auction house.
Among several major pieces presented in the African art selection, a reliquary figure from Kota-Ndassa, established in eastern Gabon, is of particular interest. 51 centimetres high, this statuette was originally obtained by a school for pastors and teachers in Kimpese, Congo, and has been written about as early as 1940. The lot (#99) is estimated at between $250,000 and $350,000.
A pair of Dogon or Tellem statuettes (lot 78), originating from Mali and dating from the 19th century or earlier and exhibited by Philippe Guimiot in Brussels in 1994, shares the same high estimate. A magnificent maternity Bangwa figure, from Cameroon (lot #97), initially [.../...]See more
New York, 8 May 2019
Exhibited in New York since 2nd May, nearly 90 works of Pacific art from Harry A. Franklin’s collection will be auctioned at Sotheby’s on 13 May as part of the spring session organised by the American auction house.
A pioneer in the trade of arts from Africa and Oceania after a initial career in textiles, Harry A. Franklin established himself as a reference in the 1950s and 1960s and “converted” many collectors on the west coast of the United States to his cause. His gallery, located in Beverly Hills, was a privileged meeting place for anthropologists, art lovers, great travellers, politicians and film stars, such as Jacques Lipchitz, Nelson Rockefeller, John Huston, Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman.
After the death of the Californian merchant in 1983 (at age 79), a first auction, organised at Sotheby’s on the initiative of his daughter, Valérie Franklin-Nordin, made the headlines in April 1990, thanks in particular to the record sale, for $3.4 million, of a statue of Cameroon, known as “Queen Bangwa” [.../...]See more
Brussels, 21 January 2019
For lovers of tribal art, modern art and design, the famous Native Auction House is holding an exceptional auction on 26 January. In its Brussels premises, which experts consider one of the European temples of the African and Oceania art market, Native will present, on that day, among the main prizes, many treasures from the personal collection of German historian Helmut Zake.
Helmut Zake, former Director of Foreign Student Services and International Relations at the University of Heidelberg, acquired his first African works in the 1960s. Both charismatic and friends of famous merchants – such as Walter Kaiser – he founded the Heidelberg Gesprächskreis von Sammlern und Ethnologen, a discussion society more commonly known as the Zake Circle, which brought together ethnography lovers and African art collectors from all over Germany but also from Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands. “Through this circle”, says Nicolas Paszukiewicz, co-leader of Native, “Helmut Zake focused on defining the aesthetic canons that appealed to his [.../...]See more
Paris, 29 November 2018
Saturday 12 December, Sotheby's is organising two exceptional sales of African and Oceanic art to conclude the tribal year in style. From 3pm onwards, many lots from the anonymous collection of “Monsieur Z” will be dispersed. The session will be divided into three essential parts, illustrating the life and career of this discreet collector.
Since the end of the Second World War, Z has been involved in the avant-garde artistic circles that have emerged in the Brussels region. He works with the members of the CoBrA group: Pierre Alechinsky, Christian Dotremont, Karel Appel or Asger Jorn. He acquires remarkable works directly from these artists over the years. Through its choices and affinities, the Z collection perfectly illustrates the spirit of the group, as Christian Dotremont reminds us: “art must have roots”. A thought common to Z, which at the same time enriches its collection of tribal artworks (Africa and Oceania). As Corneille, a member of the CoBrA group, points out, “African art [...] is a primary art [...] which has not yet [.../...]See more
Vienna, 28 November 2018
On Tuesday 4 December there will be a remarkable tribal art session at Dorotheum in Vienna. To mark the end of the year, the auctions will be held in line with the theme of the four elements (Earth, Fire, Ether, Water). No less than 130 objects from several private collections will be scattered under the gaze of amateurs from all over the world. 85 of them are from the Franco Monti collection, one of the leading figures in the history of tribal art in the 20th century.
Born in Milan in 1931, Franco Monti became involved in sculpture in the 1950s. He developed a formal vocabulary of raw and bold lines, using clay and stone as the medium. Collectivity quickly caught up with him, and he soon attended the scholarly circles of the French school of anthropology. It is in this context that he made his first trips to sub-Saharan Africa. He acquires treasures from the contact with local cultures. Back in Europe, he organised exhibitions of African art, particularly in Italy. He works with the famous creators Giacometti, Marini, Fontana, Chirico, but also [.../...]See more