The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
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.
Brussels, 10 September 2012
Tribal Art Society (TAS) is an association of traders, which expertise is internationally recognised, who, since June 2011, proposes through a website the sale of tribal art objects. The members subscription at TAS is made by invitation. It is offered only to traders specialised in tribal art and who are attending to the most relevant events and fairs.
Works are published and renewed at the beginning of each month. Objects are shown under different sights with a complete description and name and address of the trader to contact. To guarantee the authenticity of the objects presented on the website, they are validated by a team of experts, members of the most accredited valuation companies. Collectors can decide and buy with complete confidence. Buyers have seven days after delivery to return the object in case they are not completely satisfied with their purchase. This website which aim is mainly commercial is also keen into updating its members with collectors interviews and press releases.
In its second year, Tribal Art [.../...]See more
Melbourne, 7 June 2012
Collectors of local art in Melbourne no longer know where to turn, as the city’s major auction houses, Sotheby’s and Mossgreen, have both used the name of media mogul John Kluge for their sales of aboriginal art.
Kluge, who died in 2010 at the age of 95, sold his Metromedia television network to 20th Century Fox for four billion dollars in 1986. After that, he began collecting Australian aboriginal art, and in 1997 he opened the Kluge-Ruhe collection to the public at the University of Virginia.
Kluge’s name is known for having collected quality pieces. Australian auction house Mossgreen was counting on this prestigious name to help sell 66 aboriginal art works from Kluge’s collection at a sale on 6 June.
There was, however, a thorn in the auctioneer’s side, as Mossgreen had publicised the sale under the impression that the collection was at the time of the collector’s death. Sotheby’s, however, announced that it would be auctioning eight works from the Kluge collection eight days previous.
Paul Sumner, the director general of Mossgreen, was disappointed that Sotheby’s has not only taken advantage of his company’s publicity for [.../...]See more