Thursday, November 14, 2013

Highlights of Bonham's African Art Auction, 14 November

A few hours ago in New York, Bonham's Auction House held a sale of African and Oceanic Art. As usual, I wasn't in attendance, much less buying anything, but as a small-time collector of African Art, here's a few of the highlight lots, some of which were unsold: 

 There were a large number of headrests in the show. 
Above, Lot 82: A rare Twa pygmy Headrest from Rwanda or Burundi, sold for $5000.
 Lot 106: A Kuba Headrest from the DR Congo, sold for $1250.
 Lot 119: One of three beautiful Zulu headrests, this gorgeous tripod went unsold (guide price $1500)

 Lot 120: Two of three Zulu Headrests, this horse-like item went for $1375.

 Lot 126: Another three-legged Zulu headrest, this one went unsold (guide price $1500).

 Lot 149: [The crying of lot 149!] A gorgeous Bobo bull elephant mask from Burkina Faso, 
sold for $4000.

 Lot 162: The only piece in the sale with a Liberian provenance, this rare Grebo door once was owned by Yale and later by the Brooklyn Museum. Amazingly, it sent unsold (guide price $8000). 

 Lot 182: An incredible Ijo Mask from Nigeria, sold for $8125.

 Lot 187: An intricate Nupe Door from Nigeria, 
possibly attributable to the carver Sakiwa the Younger, sold for $3125.

  Lot 188: A gorgeous Mumuye figure from Nigeria, sold for $4375.
(profile view below)

 Lot 189 A Mambila ancestral figure from Cameroon or Nigeria, sold for $6250.

 Lot 210: A charismatic Pende Giwoyo Mask, from the DR Congo, with its comically solemn expression and grandfatherly beard, unsold (guide price $2500)

 Lot 215: A disk-shaped Mask, used in the Kidumu Society of the Tsai group 
of Teke people from the DR Congo

 Lot 218: A classic; the dynamically-featured Songye Mask, this item was photographed in 1972 in the Congo whence it was sourced(below). Sold for $3500.

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