The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Palos Verdes, 12 February 2020
He combines the passion of a collector with the rigour of an ethnologist. For over twenty years, American art dealer Michael Hamson has been celebrating the creativity of traditional arts from the South Pacific.
From New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, hundreds of museum-quality works have passed through his hands. And yet he himself admits that tribal-art dealing was not an obvious path for him to follow.
At the end of the 1980s, this former marine officer, who enjoyed searching for good surfing waves in his spare time, would take advantage of his long months on land to travel – first to West Africa, where he discovered tribal art, and then to Papua New Guinea. It was in the latter that he met a biologist who was carrying out research in isolated villages around Maprik, the centre of Abelam culture. The encounter was a revelation. “During my first trip, I discovered New Ireland and I travelled along the Sepik River. Of course I didn’t stumble upon antiquities straight away, but the objects that I did find, while not necessarily [.../...]See more
Paris, 18 January 2020
Passion for primitive arts is eminently contagious. In the Schoffel family, we know something of it. Located since 1994 at 14 rue Guénégaud, in the sixth arrondissement of Paris, the eponymous gallery perpetuates a tradition of more than half a century, initiated by the father, Alain Schoffel, affected from a very young age by the virus of collecting, then by that of trade.
“I don't think he ever imagined himself doing any other activity. From the age of ten, he became interested in primitive arts, first through the arrows of American Indians! Barely a teenager, he ran from one museum to the next and was just 25 when, in 1969, he opened his gallery on rue de Seine. For him, it was a need. It's not easily explainable. And he obviously passed on this passion to my mother,” says his daughter, Judith Schoffel de Fabry. When the couple split up, Christine Valluet opened her own gallery on rue de Lille, and it was under this banner and alongside her mother that the young woman embarked on a career as a specialist antique dealer. “For me, it [.../...]See more
Amsterdam, 28 September 2019
For the 17th time, the Tribal Art Fair is taking place in the wonderful De Duif church in the centre of Amsterdam. Twenty galleries will be exhibiting their most exceptional pieces. There will also be a programme featuring readings and films. For example, unique amateur film images captured in Papua in 1961 will be screened.
The Tribal Art Fair is one of the four most important ethnographic fairs in Europe. This is reflected in the international character of the fair. Participants come from various countries, such as the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Thailand and the USA, and visitors travel to Amsterdam from all over the world to visit the fair too. The fair is of interest to anyone who wants to find out more about tribal art. Guided tours are organised and you can find out information from the gallery owners. Of course, there’s also plenty for long-standing collectors to see.
Tribal art is about so much more than masks and sculptures. It also encompasses textiles, jewellery and utensils. It goes without saying that this diversity [.../...]See more
Paris 3 September 2019
With over twenty years experience in African and Oceanian tribal art, Adrian Schlag now divides his time between Brussels ; where he opened a gallery on the Rue des Minimes in the late 1990s; and Ibiza, where he lives in the middle of nature for part of the year when not visiting his clients in Europe and the United States.
On the heels of Bruneaf (Brussels Non European Art Fair) in June, this renown dealer and member of the Royal Chamber of Antique Dealers of Belgium and the Belgium Chamber of Art Experts, will participate in the 18th edition of Parcours des Mondes, Paris 10-15 September, a must go-to for primitive art lovers.
Archaic pieces can still be found
Schlag’s gallery is located at the Bouquinerie de L’Institut in the fine arts district of Saint-Germain-des-Près. A highlight of the 15 pieces presented is a 67 cm wooden statuette representing an ancestral figure of the Septik-Ramu tradition (Papua New Guinea), formerly part of Gisela and Heinrich Wellmann’s collection which was acquired in Bremen between 1923 and 1978. [.../...]See more
Paris, 7 May 2019
Opened in 1990 at 8 rue des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Flak Gallery has become one of the major Parisian players in the field of tribal art since the early 2000s. The latest exhibition, dedicated to navigator and long-distance discoverer James Cook, highlights the gallery’s expertise through their aesthetical and historical choices.
Edith and Roland Flak, the gallery’s founders and modern art collectors turned naturally to African art, more precisely Dogon, as their collection grew. A first exhibition in the late 90’s of “ere ibeji” twin figures which are associated with the Yoruba culture, now mainly found in Nigeria –, foreshadowed the direction of the family gallery.
“When you’re interested in modern art, it is hard to miss African art,” says Julien Flak, who joined his parents in 2002, after a career in advertising. Under his influence, primitive arts quickly took a prominent place in the gallery, eventually occupying both exhibition spaces entirely.
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Amsterdam, 13 October 2018
Tribal art is growing in the Netherlands! From 25 to 28 October 2018, 20 renowned merchants will gather in Amsterdam for the 16th edition of the Tribal Art Fair. More than 2,000 objects are presented to the public in the grounds of De Duif Church. Fans will be able to discover an exceptional choice of masks, sculptures, jewellery and furniture from Oceania, Africa, America or Asia.
Among the participants, the Astamangala gallery is the only one to offer Tibetan and Indian objects in Holland. Brant Mackley presents a selection of American native art. For Asia, we will go to Michael Woerner's side, not to mention the Lemaire gallery stand. The merchant family has been organizing the fair since its inception in 2003. Many events are planned during the four days of festivities. Guided tours will introduce the public to tribal rituals through African and Oceanic art. The presentation will be based on exhibits from the Zulu, Ndebele, Asmat and other peoples.
Several readings are also scheduled. Bas van Lier will return in [.../...]See more
Paris, 9 September 2018
A homage to a mythical exhibition from the 1930s, an extensive dialogue with contemporary creation, and a unique assembly of works from outside Europe... This is what you can expect from the 17th edition of Parcours des Mondes, one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious primitive-arts fairs.
Its reputation is now a given. After notching up sixteen editions, the Parcours des Mondes has become an unmissable event for dealers, collectors, museum directors, and also tribal-art lovers. But what else would you expect when the organisers of the Parisian fair, steered by Pierre Moos, have never skimped on quality, but consistently invited the top dealers in their respective specialities?
Whether these dealers come from Paris, other French towns, or further afield, there are 64 of them present at Saint-Germain-des-Près for this year’s vintage. From Rue des Beaux-Arts to Rue Mazarine, passing through Rue Guénégaud, they are showing masterpieces patiently picked up from Africa and Oceania – often these dealers are taking a breather after [.../...]See more
Paris, 8 September 2018
What strategy are you implementing for Parcours des Mondes?
With sixteen editions behind it, Parcours des Mondes has become a leading player in the world of international tribal- and Asian-arts fairs. The legacy of these sixteen editions, all these sold objects, all these encounters, needs to be consolidated by maintaining what has been responsible for the quality of Parcours des Mondes until now: rigour in the selection of exhibitors. What makes a fair special is the diversity of its different stakeholders. In the first place, we address dealers: these are our clients, and they’re the ones we work with for six months in order to construct a rich event. But our audience is made up of art lovers, collectors, with demanding requirements. We need to find a good balance.
What approaches do you follow to strengthen this renown?
First, we wish to promote the heritage aspect of Parcours des Mondes. We’re also focusing on the need to reinvent our communication methods – we’re opening up more to social networks for example. Next, to maintain [.../...]See more
Paris, 7 September 2018
Do you think that the fair, celebrating its 17th birthday this year, has reached maturity? Are you still seeking to enrich it with new perspectives?
I’m very proud of the renown that Parcours des Mondes enjoys today. When we took it over several years ago, the event was going downhill. Over time and with a lot of passion, we’ve worked to give it the face it has today, by selecting participants from the world’s top galleries, which isn’t so easy given that there are very few of them. This might seem paradoxical, but what you need to bear in mind is that there are around sixty tribal-arts galleries worldwide, no more. By way of comparison, if you take any building in the Chelsea district in New York, you’ll find the same number of contemporary-art galleries, if not more. Clearly, we live in a microcosm from which we’re taking the best. This year, we refused about twenty potential participants due to the quality of works – primordial in our eyes – and also due to the fact that the number of galleries admitted to the event cannot be [.../...]See more
Besanceuil, 21 May 2018
Besanceuil, a French village situated a few kilometres away from the town of Cluny, will be playing host to a fair unlike any other: the Bourgogne Tribal Show.
It’s the first international tribal-art fair to be held in the countryside: the Bourgogne Tribal Show honours the arts from all over the world in the Burgundy countryside. From 24 to 27 May, a few kilometres away from the town of Cluny, visitors can discover a tight but eclectic selection of dealers. Julie Arnoux, director of the Bourgogne Tribal Art Show, is enthusiastic about the fair: “We love this event and we’ve introduced a few innovations this year. We’re backing up our fine selection of dealers with a combination of established galleries and young guns, as well as wide openness to international art (namely Asia and Egyptian antiquities).”
The fair’s Honorary President is Jean Roudillon, a tribal-art figure who, at 95 years old, has notched up time both as a dealer and a valuer. He shares his experience with us in the fair’s catalogue. Did we say catalogue? Art [.../...]See more