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Ancestors and Gods - "Tribal Art" on 2 April 2012 at the Dorotheum in Vienna
Tschokwe, Angola Estimate € 3.000 - 4.000
Following the successful launch of the new ‘tribal art’ division with the estate of collector Prof. Dr. Rudolf Leopold around a year ago, the Dorotheum in Vienna has established a strong foothold in this emerging field of collector interest. Monday 2 April 2012 will now see the third large auction commence.
The auction catalogue, comprising a total of 242 lots, features highlights from each of the respective areas, for example ‘Africa’ with a wide range of objects from the famed old kingdoms of Benin and Owo in Nigeria. These include a very old Benin wooden head from a noble family’s ancestral altar (€6,000-€8,000) and an antique carved ivory horn, as well as a bell and jewellery also made from ivory. Of particular interest among the West African masks and sculptures on offer are additional pieces from the Leopold collection as well as another older collection belonging to a German missionary. Together with rarities from the Dogon, Lobi, Dan, Senufo, Baule, Guro, Yoruba, Nago and Ibo tribes, this features a rare pair of Kulango figures, masks and figures from the grasslands of Cameroon and many other treasures. Items from the Congo include a very rare early Boa mask (€10,000-€20,000), a rare Kasongo figure and a range of objects from the Luba, Hemba, Pende, Teke and Yaka tribes. Angola is the source of a chief’s stool with many carved figures, as well as a spectacular Tchokwe mask (€3,000-€4,000). These are rounded off with an exceptionally beautiful antique Konso pole of excellent French provenance (€13,000-€15,000), interesting pieces from East Africa (Makonde, Nyamwezi, Doe) and grave stele and figures from the Madagascan Sakalava and Mahafaly peoples.
An outstanding offering in the ‘Asia’ area is the exceptionally large and extremely well preserved stone Shiva-Lingam from Cambodia’s Angkor period (9th-12th centuries), with an estimated value of €8,000-€12,000. This is accompanied by a high-quality selection of Buddha sculptures and figures from Thailand and Burma, pieces from India and a whole group of objects from the Naga, a former headhunting tribe from the India/Burma border area (hats, weapons, textiles and jewellery) - complementing the large exhibition ‘NAGA PEOPLE - Jewelry and Ashes’ currently being featured at the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna.
Indonesia is represented by a beautiful tau tau funerary figure from the Toraja people of Sulawesi (€7,000-€10,000) as well as many other objects from Java, Sumatra (Batak), Nias and Timor. Oceania contributes a rare double coil of the legendary ‘feather money’ from the Santa Cruz archipelago in the Solomon Islands - in good condition. Interesting Eskimo artefacts in the ‘America’ chapter bring to a close this journey through a plethora of non-European cultures and their people.