Dealer Kenn Mackay.

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He covers a large range of material with an emphasis on ethnographic antiques from the Americas, Africa, Oceania and Asia.

Mackay is one of the exhibitors at this year’s Tribal Art London, which takes place at from 22-26 September.

1 How did you get your start?

I bought a lot of ethnographic art works during my travels to Asia and Africa and South America and I would sell a few pieces here and there, but I started seriously as a dealer when I was living in Ecuador.

Word got around I was a buyer and people would come from as far away as southern Peru to offer anything and everything for sale. Some great things were acquired during those days.

2 Have you noticed any collecting trends in the last 6-12 months?

The pandemic has restricted the normal movement of material coming onto the market, so it is difficult to see trends.

However, I expect to see lot of interesting objects come on the market that have been held back over the last 18 months.

It is definitely a good time to be out and active again.


Pre-Columbian Nazca bowl from Peru, c.100BC-800AD, on Kenn Mackay’s virtual stand at Tribal Art London, priced at £795.

3 One lesson you would like to pass on to others in the trade either now or in the future?

You have to think outside the box, get out there and find ways to get stock before the auctioneers get it. A dealer has to have some fortunate finds to survive in this game.

4 What is one item you couldn’t do without?

I can’t do without my old manual espresso machine to get me going in the morning.

5 Who do you admire in the art and antiques world?

Charles Ratton, one of the founding fathers of the tribal art trade.

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