Sunday, May 1, 2011

More African Art up for Auction at Sotheby's

Following the morning session, selling off the fantastic Robert Rubin Collection, Sotheby's will be holding an afternoon auction of "Primitive art." While this categorical term is apparently still alive and well in the art world, encompassing the craft traditions of Africa, Oceania and the Pre-Columbian cultures of the Americas, there is nothing crude or simplistic in this collection for sale, as can be seen in the sampling below.

Following arts from South America and the Pacific, the African group is extensive, and focuses on West African cultures. Items include gold combs from Ghana and wood-carvings from Guinea and Mali. Among the highlights here are two uniquely-angular Chi Wara (such as Lot #204), followed closely by a gorgeous Dogon cross-figure crowned mask, and a haunting, hollow-socketed ebony Bamana hyena mask. Another Dogon gem is #222, an amazing, intricate crocodile mask, followed by an incredibly beautiful, classic Mende helmut mask.

There are a number of items from Liberia, especially the Dan ethnic group, including several brass objects, such as Lot #215, an amazing brass crocodile. Lot #217 is a beautifully-carved Dan game board, collected in eastern Liberia in the mid-20th century. Click through each below to see more information and provenance.

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