The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Paris, 26 June 2014
On 19 June, Christie’s Paris held two sales dedicated to African, Oceanic and North American artworks, as well as works from the collection of Rudolf and Leonore Blum. 119 out of the 175 proposed lots were sold, totalling €5,964,075.
Four new world records were set at the sales. As stated by Susan Kloman, International Director of the Department of African and Oceanic Art: “the collection of Rudolf and Leonore Blum attracted particular interest from collectors, realising a total of €3,616,600, 96% by lot and by value, doubling the estimate. The highest-selling lot was a Luba Shankadi headrest, which realised €661,500, against an estimate of €200,000-300,000, whilst a Dan mask from the Ivory Coast, sold for €721,500, broke the world record for an object of this ethnic origin.”
Paris, 17 April 2014,
In art, a quantitative approach is often given bad press. Those who pursue analyses based on value are often accused of relegating the importance of art works themselves – reducing them to mere financial assets. A number of dealers pretend to ignore the industry’s financial side, placing a stronger emphasis on the aesthetic or emotional aspect of their work. The reality of the market, however, means that financial considerations remain – and are increasingly – a vital component of the art world.
Art has often sought to avoid an association with finance and has, in part, succeeded. A work of art – even one considered to have little financial worth – is capable of attaining a very personal value which a treasury bond will never reach. Yet, in the context of an increasingly liquid market affected by ongoing inflation, information is key; thus, the importance of accurate data sources becomes increasingly important.
In the 1990s, a number of data specialists used the development of the [.../...]See more
Paris, 19 July 2013
Survival International, an organisation that works to protect tribal peoples, has returned a mask taken from Arizona’s Hopi people, after it was controversially sold at Parisian auction house Drouot in 2013.
Lawyer Pierre Servan-Schreiber who acquired the piece via Drouot with the intention of returning it to the Hopi people, considers the restitution of the work as a small success in a much larger fight: “It is my way of telling the Hopi that we only lost a battle and not the war. I am convinced that in the future, those who believe that not everything should be up for sale will prevail. In the meantime, the Hopi will not have lost everything since two of these sacred objects have been saved from being sold.”
For the Hopi people, the commercialisation of these sacred works, and their presentation in public, is hugely offensive. Survival International requested that the sale be suspended, though the demand was repeatedly denied by the Parisian crown court, and a sale of the works was [.../...]See more
San Francisco, 17 May 2013
Bonhams looks forward to presenting a 523-lot sale of Native American art, June 3 in San Francisco. The sale will feature historic basketry, fine textiles, jewellery, kachina dolls and pottery from various owners, including more than 200 lots of property from the Jim and Lauris Phillips Collection, San Marino, CA. Many examples from the Phillips' amazing basket collection of more than 400 baskets, mostly from California, will be portioned out in this and future sales.
Northwest Coast and Eskimo highlights in the sale will include a food storage box of bentwood construction (est. $35,000-45,000); two separate Northwest Coast Chilkat blankets (est. $30,000-40,000 and $12,000-18,000); and a Haida argillite panel pipe (est. $25,000-35,000). A selection of masks, such as a Yupik Eskimo mask in the form of a seal in an oval frame with a bird head protruding from the bottom (est. $30,000-50,000); an Eskimo mask, conceived as a split-faced entity within the body of a spotted seal (est. $20,000-30,000); and an Alaskan mask - [.../...]See more
San Francisco, 12 March 2013
Bonhams is pleased to present part one of Property from the Jim and Lauris Phillips Collection, San Marino, CA, within its springtime Native American Art auction, June 3, in San Francisco. This portion of the collection comprises more than 200 lots – half of the entire sale – of fine textiles, kachina dolls and historic pottery, as well as many of the best examples from the Phillips' amazing basket collection of more than 400 baskets, mostly from California, to be portioned out in this and future sales.
In this upcoming sale, there will be five baskets from the Chumash people of Southern California, two of which are estimated at $15,000-20,000 and $12,000-15,000, respectively; a sizeable number of brilliant Mission bowls and trays depicting rattlesnakes, other animal figures and people; fine basket examples by the Pomo and Maidu tribes; and numerous bottlenecks from central California, the Yosemite region and most every other basket producing area.
Additional highlights will include a Yokut gambling tray, once from the [.../...]See more
Paris, 20 December 2012
Drouot Richelieu announced the result of the Native North American art auction held on 16 December 2012 at Eve auction house, with pre-emption from the Musée du Quai Branly.
The two collections of Hopi masks, 28 pieces altogether, represented the greatest ensemble of Native American masks ever displayed in Paris, both in terms of quantity and quality. Auctions exceeded by far initial estimates. For instance, the Kachina PUCH TIHU (mountain lion) mask rose to €24,784 BPI, while it had been estimated between €5,500 and €6,500.
Eight pieces, including a Kachina SIO HEMIS mask (1890-1900), pre-empted €26,023 BPI by the Musée du Quai Branly, came from the ancient collection of Mrs Grace Wilcox Oliver. Owner of a private museum, The Antelope Valley Museum, numerous pieces had previously belonged to her father, archaeologist, ethnologist and a collaborator of Jesse Walter Fewkes (1850-1930), famous anthropologist who initiated the preservation of ancient sites of the American Southeast. Certain pieces were directly issued from his [.../...]See more
New York, 20 December 2012
In May 2013, Sotheby’s New York will put on sale the Andy Williams Collection of Navajo blankets. The collection was owned by the famous American singer until he died in September 2012. He is mostly famous for his Christmas songs and Moon River, released in 1961.
This collection of Navajo blankets was on display at the artist’s house, in his offices and in the Moon River Theater, which he founded in 1992 in Branson, Missouri. They have been shown to the public on occasion of an exclusive exhibition at the St Louis Art Museum.
The star piece of the collection is by no doubt a Navajo Man’s Wearing Blanket, woven in a Chief’s First Phase design. It is estimated between $200,000 and $300,000. The whole collection might fetch $1m, according to David Roche, Senior Consultant to Sotheby’s American Art Department. All the pieces offered are top-quality works, showing the crafsmanship of the Navajos. Some blankets display a remarkable range of colours and many details; these unique works will be the [.../...]See more
San Francisco, 7 December 2012
Bonhams is pleased to announce its Native American Art auction, December 3 in San Francisco, achieved more than $1.28 million, with 90% of the lots sold. The sale brought strong bidding across categories, by clients in the auction room, as well as on the phones and Internet.
The star lot of the auction was a very tightly woven Navajo classic child's blanket, featuring end bands of alternating chevrons and stripes and a diamond band centre, in indigo, recarded pink, ravelled cochineal-dyed and handspun yarns, sold for $60,000 (est. $20,000-40,000). The Weavings category of the sale also included many other examples that sold well, such as a Navajo late classic chief's blanket in a nine-spot pattern of diamond-form lozenges, overlaid on striped ground, sold for $17,500 (est. $10,000-15,000); a very tightly woven classic Saltillo blanket, with two sections joined at the centre, and a densely striped field overlaid by a central medallion of boldly serrated concentric diamonds, sold for $13,750; a Navajo late classic woman's [.../...]See more
New York, 5 October 2012
Recently Swann Galleries sold the cycle titled The North American Indians by Edward S. Curtis for $1.4m.
This unique lot of Fine Photographs & Photobooks generated the biggest turnover ever made by the Swann Galleries, for its 70th anniversary. Actually it was in 1952 when Swann Galleries organised its first auction devoted to American photo albums.
Vice-president of Swann Galleries and director of the Photographs & Photobooks department declares “We were very pleased to have sold this iconic work by a major 20th century artist. The price reflects the rarity and beauty of this American masterpiece and the interest in photobooks as an artform.”
San Francisco, 11 September 2012
On 10 September 2012, Bonhams organised its third auction of the year entitled ”Art and Artefacts of the Americas”, in San Francisco. The majority of works were coming from the Robert “Trader Bob” Bayuk Collection and from the Nancy Sue and Judson C. Ball Collection. These were representing Native American art and, more precisely, basketries from the west of California.
Best sales were achieved on a Sioux shirt trimmed with pearls (sold for 8.437 $), a Mayan figurine (sold for $6.250), a Zuni jar ($5.625) and a series of eighteen masques from Guatemala (sold for $4,750).