Top Tribal Art Auction Results Spring 2018

Christies- sale 16282
Sale total 1,986,750
146 lots 121 sold

Mezcala temples.jpg

Christie’s Paris presents the Prigogine Collection of unique Mezcala, Chontal and Olmec artefacts. Important Pre-Columbian works will also be offered in the Arts d’Afrique, d’Océanie, et d’Amérique auction.
The art of Mezcala and Chontal, from the mountainous region of Guerrero, Mexico, is known for its stone sculptures including animal effigies, masks, architectural models and most specifically, figurines dating from 300 to 100 BC. Little is known about these people, their language or the intended purpose of their artefacts. Like many Mesoamerican cultures, they were most probably ritual offerings for the hereafter.
Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine and his wife Maryna started acquiring a variety of Mezcala, Chontal and Olmec works in the mid-1960s. The collection, carefully assembled over the course of 30 years, comprises 149 lots and is curated by the renowned Mezcala art scholar Carlo Gay. Many of the sculptures on offer have appeared in major Pre-Columbian art publications as well as several international exhibitions.
A conference about the Collection will be given on 5 April by Arthur Alex, Publishing Director of Tribal Art Magazine.


Important personage Debout (lot 80)
estimate -EUR65,000-85,000
Price realized EUR 439,500

Personnage Debout (lot 77)
EUR 30,000-40,000
Price Realized- EUR162,500

Personnage Debout (lot 83)
EUR 30,000-50,000
Price realized-EUR 162,500


Auction 16150-lot 12.jpg

Christies sale 16150
Sale total incluing buyers premium USD 1,754,250
13 lots,  6 lots sold

Highest lot- The Coray-Kerchache Kota-nadassa Reliquary Figure (lot 12)
Estimate- USD 900,000 1,500,000
Price Realized 972,500

The Bouffard Guro Mask (lot 3)
Estimate 150,000-250,000
Price realized 480,000


The Penot Nalawan mask (lot 1)
Est 60,000-90,000
Price realized- 56,250
 -sold lower than estimated


Auction 16061- Lot 91.jpg

Christies sale 16061
Sale total including buyer’s premium EUR8,349,875
91 lots- 63 sold

Tabwa Mask
Est- On request (lot 91)
Price Realized- EUR 2,913,750

A Fang Reliquary Figure (lot 53)
Est- EUR 1,500,000-2,500,000
Price Realized- 2,632,500


Auction 9855- lot 16.jpg

Sotheby’s 09855
Sale Total-USD 8,399,125
29 lots – 27 sold
A lot sold way over the estimated price

This superb collection of 29 objects, formed over the last 50 years by the New York couple Howard and Saretta Barnet, is comprised of masterpieces of African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and American Indian Art, alongside Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities.
Covering an astonishing span of time and geographic range, the collection synthesizes widely disparate human cultures into a universal aesthetic of beauty.  Each work is of exceptionally high quality, many have been extensively published and exhibited and are icons of their respective genres.
Following the highly successful auctions “The Color of Beauty”, which presented the contemporary paintings from the Barnet collection last fall, and “The Line of Beauty”, which presented their extraordinary collection of Old Master Drawings in January 2018, Sotheby’s is delighted to conclude the series with The Shape of Beauty, paying tribute to the unique vision of Howard and Saretta Barnet, and providing an unmatched opportunity for today’s collectors.

Auction 9855- Lot 10.jpg

Fang-Mvai Ancestor Statue by Master of Ntem (lot 16)
Est- USD 3,000,000-5,000,000
Sold- 3,495,000

Shaman’s Mask (lot 10)
EST- 300,000- 500,000
Sold- 1,515,000

Olmec Mask Fragment (lot 12)
EST- 200,000-300,000





Sotheby’s sale 09856
Sale total 3,402,000
90 lots- 89 lots sold

Auction 9856-lot 122.jpg

Our annual various-owners auction in New York will include a curated selection of the arts of primary cultures from around the world, including important sculpture from sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands, ancient Mesoamerica and North America. The auction is timed to coincide with the marquee week of Contemporary Art and Impressionist and Modern Art auctions in New York, in a celebration of the historical connections and aesthetic affinities that the arts of these cultures share with modern and contemporary art.  The auction on May 14 will immediately follow The Shape of Beauty: Sculpture from the Collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet.


Pole Club (lot 122)
Est- 200,000-300,000
Sold 399,000

Dogon-Tintam Statue (lot 158)
EST- 250,000- 350,000


Skinner Sale 3099B
Sale total – not sure
384 lots- not sure how many sold
All three of the highlights mentioned by skinner which were lots 78,132, and 328 were not sold
The highest bid was 39,975 but the sale prices declined significantly from there

Our May American Indian & Ethnographic Art auction features three significant collections of African art, the Richard Newman collection of Akan goldweights, the Arnold Crane collection of African sculpture and metalwork, and the Mauricio Lasansky collection of African art which includes a significant group of Ivory Coast figures and masks; as well as an important Songye power figure from the Jean-Marie Biebuyck collection in Boston. The auction also features a wide range of American Indian art, from weavings, pottery, and baskets to beadwork from the Plains and Eastern Woodlands. Also on offer is a Chilkat robe from the Northwest Coast and a number of interesting Eskimo artifacts from Alaska including an early Yup’ik seal gut parka.

Auction 3099b - lot 291.jpg

Fine Plains Catlinite Stem and Bowl (lot 291)
Est- 15,000-20,000
Sold 39,975

Punu-Lumbo Female Reliquary Figure (lot 155)
Est- 8,000-12,000

Hemba Male Figure (lot 241)
Est- 25,000-35,000
Sold – 22,140

Hemba Knife (lot 152)
Est- 2,500-3,500