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, 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
Paris, 15 September 2017
They’re the ones who murmur into the ears of collectors. Gallerists play a crucial role in the tribal-art economy. For this special issue, a number of them, each with their own specialities, have agreed to share their feelings on the sector. Confidences.
At auctions, the eclectic nature of the tribal-art market indicates sure growth in the long term, both in terms of the number of lots placed on sale and their proceeds, even if the last three years have seen heavy fluctuations, if not a slight decline. However, by overshadowing the reality of the world of dealers, auction results are only a partial indicator of the health of a sector characterised by deep restructuring. Between a generational shift among collectors, sourcing difficulties, and a complex balance between auction houses and dealers, what does the future hold?
Collectors: a new generation takes the reins? In the eyes of Alain Lecomte from the gallery Abla & Alain Lecomte, specialised in ancient African arts, there’s no doubt about it: the sector is in for a shakeup: “The [.../...]See more
Paris, 4 September 2017
Stratospheric-level auctions, overheated prices… The market for archaeological and tribal pieces is booming! We retrace the phenomenon of star status for these highly coveted objects. An issue that we examine by seeing what dealers, collectors and members of the scientific community have to say…
Ever since the start of the 2000s, the tribal-art market has literally exploded, with its turnover jumping up from €13.7 million in 2001 to €92.1 in 2014. Despite this strong growth, tribal art remains a marginal market, which represents only 0.68 % of the global turnover of art auction sales, in other words, 40 times less than the proportion occupied by modern art, according to a report published by Artkhade and Art Analytics in December 2015.
Largely in front, Africa and Oceania leave other geographical zones behind in the shadows. Between 2000 and 2014, these two continents represented 64.8 % of lots offered at auctions and 81 % of the sector’s total sales proceeds. Above all, the market’s growth has been accompanied by a [.../...]See more
London, 27 August 2016
Bryan Reeves has stood for a certain vision of tribal art and culture ever since he launched the Tribal Perspectives fair in 2007. Since then, the event has grown, changed its name and venue by moving into The Mall Galleries to become Tribal Art London. At the start of September, Art Media Agency with Artkhade went to London, winding through the fair’s alleys, to meet Bryan Reeves.
B. R.: I like introducing Tribal Art London as a cultural fair. Our exhibitors cover all fields of tribal art around the globe, and we have a well-developed conference programme, offering debates in fields as wide as culture or ethnography — the aim being to increase understanding of tribal art without contenting ourselves with merely being a strictly commercial fair. Today, the fair is heading to its ninth birthday. When we started, we were no more than a small exhibition with three dealers — “Tribal Perspectives”. We gradually developed the fair, then moved to a fantastic spot, [.../...]See more
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, 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, 10 September 2013
Tribal Art has witnessed a long and complex evolution, with European art history oscillating wildly in its attitude to the genre. Once referred to pejoratively as ‘primitive art’, tribal art has since been recognised for the important influence it had on the works of Expressionist, Surrealist and Cubist artists. Now, the field is recognised as rich and diverse, with museums, galleries and collectors across the globe placing an important focus on the works of indigenous peoples from Africa, North America and Oceania. Artkhade with Art Media Agency examined the platforms which are specialising in the genre today, looking at the presence of Tribal Art in Galleries, Museums, at auction houses and in dealerships.
A Slow Rise to Success
‘Primitive art’ is now recognised as a dismissive term, connoting an outdated Euro-centric attitude which coincided with the height of imperialism, colonialism, and the exploitation of countries by the West. The title connoted the belief that [.../...]See more
Sydney, 15 October 2012
Strong Results were achieved for artefacts at Sotheby's Australia's major Aboriginal & Oceanic Art sale held on Monday, 15 October 2012 in Sydney. Important Aboriginal & Oceanic Art comprised 110 lots and sold for $668,400 including buyer's premium or 50% by value and 48% by volume. A Fine Parrying Shield from South East Australia sold well above the high estimate of $12,000 selling for $33,600 IBP (estimate $8,000-12,000, lot 2).
According to Sotheby’s press release, this auction was a unique opportunity for Australian and foreign collectors to acquire rare and historically valuable objects. Indeed, the series of photographs titled “Picturesque New Guinea”, by J.W. Lindt, broke the records of the artist, for it was purchased for $93,600, while it had been previously estimated between $60,000 and $80,000. This collection is entirely unique of a kind, for it offers an overview of the landscapes, tribes and colonial development of former Australia, under the British protectorate.
An early work by Aboriginal artist Yala Yala [.../...]See more
Sydney, 25 September 2012
An important collection of Aboriginal and Oceanic art will be presented on 15 October 2012 at Sotheby’s Sydney. The auctions will be composed of 113 lots. The whole collection is estimated between $1.3m and 1.9m.
In addition to rare and ancient artefacts, Indigine contemporary art and photography will be honoured as well. Papunya works will be put on sale, including Dreaming with the Ceremonial Man (1971) by Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula, estimated between $140,000 and 180,000.
These auctions will allow the purchasers to acquire lots filled with history. For instance, a series of photographs titled Picturesque New Guinea, by J.W. Lindt, estimated between $60,000 and 80,000, will be put on sale. It is a temporal window on New Guinean colonial era, an account of life under the British protectorate.
Among the contemporary pieces presented, the key work will be Garimala, by Ginger Riley Munduwalawala (1988), estimated between $60,000 and 80,000. This work has been exhibited and acclaimed at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, in 1997.