Sotheby’s Paris rooms are holding a 103-lot auction of African and Oceanic art on June 13. Among the highlights is another Fang ancestor figure, a head that belonged to the dealer and collector Paul Guillaume (1891-1934) and was exhibited at the Durand Ruel Galleries in 1933.
It has an estimate of €1-1.5m.
The Oceanic material will include this 4ft (1.2m) high Sepik ancestor figure from Papua New Guinea which is guided at €200,000-300,000.
In the wake of the spring tribal art series and the Prigogine Pre-Columbian sale, Christie’s Paris rooms will be back in action this month on June 27 with a single-owner collection devoted to African art.
It was formed over three decades by the contemporary art-dealing couple Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert, and features 105 lots from west to central Africa. Michel says of their endeavour: “It is certain that a collection is a portrait, that the objects we buy are those in which we sometimes recognise ourselves, sometimes project ourselves. In one way or another, to acquire them is to adopt them, in every sense of the word.”
One of the main highlights will be a rare wood figure of a drummer from the Mbembe people of south-east Nigeria, one of just 20 known examples (estimate on request).
Another rarity is this Fon head of a priestess which was discovered in Abomey, now the Republic of Benin, in 1928. It belonged to the French dealer Charles Ratton and was on display for 80 years at the Albright Knox Gallery of Art in Buffalo prior to acquisition by the Durand- Desserts. The estimate is €500,000-800,000.
Dorotheum will be offering ethnographic art assembled by Carlo Monzino in its Vienna rooms on June 21.
The 82 lots encompass items of Oceanic, African and pre-Columbian material.
One of the highlights of the sale is a 2ft 8in (81cm) high Uli figure from the New Ireland Archipelago that was collected in situ along with four similar but smaller statues by the researcher Edgar Walden, as part of the German naval expedition from November 1908-June 1909.
Given a broad dating of 17th to 19th century, the figure has an estimate of €150,000-180,000.
Selected lots from the sale will be exhibited at Dorotheum Brussels (Rue aux Laines, 13) from June 6-10 during the Brussels Cultures fair.