African and Oceanic Art

Present Auction - 24 April 2021

Auction in Würzburg:
Saturday, 24 April 2021 – 2 pm (CEST)

Preview in Würzburg:
April, 12 until 23 from 10 am to 5 pm daily

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The catalogue will be online from the 31st of march.

Please make an appointment by phone or email to visit the preview and auction.

We look forward to welcoming you to our present auction with works of Oceanic and African art. They are powerful or of sublime beauty, sometimes particularly expressive, not infrequently quiet in appearance, fascinating works that captivate everyone in their own unique way. 

Be it the exceptionally crafted 'moai kavaka' figure from Easter Island or the magnificent 'tatanua' Malagan mask from New Ireland. Once again they show the impressive shapes and colours of island art.
The interesting question to be clarified is whether the inventory number at the Malagan mask provides information on one of the expeditions of the 1880s. Current research could reveal interesting facts about provenance history - perhaps in the next few weeks.

Because of their stylistically distinctive details, exciting comparative works could be used for two Luba figures, and these works could be assigned to the respective masters or workshops, as in the case of this ancestor figure of the Nyunzu workshop. In the course of their collection histories, the Lindenmuseum and Ludwig Bretschneider play a documented role.

The little 'blolo bla' figure is difficult to beat in terms of grace. Beautifully delicate and fragile, and created in perfect symmetry, it embodies the Baule ideal of beauty. In her belief in the hereafter, however, she directs the fate of the living.

Whether the artfully decorated spoon is Yaure's "silverware" or a symbol of prestige may not have been conclusively clarified, it is certainly a masterpiece, because everything culminates in a delicately formulated miniature mask at the end of the handle. 

It is in the most important publication, the standard work “Die Kunst der Guro” on art of the Guro, which is still valid today, and was exhibited in the Rietberg Museum in 1985: this 39 cm 'zuzu' figure, also documented in the Maria Wyss archive. Hans Himmelträger was the first to research and appreciate the quality of Guro carving.

Baule, Côte d'Ivoire

Baule, Côte d'Ivoire

Henri Schouten (1940-2012), Amsterdam / Los Angeles
German private collection (1982)

Yaure, Côte d’Ivoire

Yaure, Côte d’Ivoire

Private collection, Paris
Marceau Rivière / Galerie Sao, Paris
Galerie Éric Hertault, Paris

Guro, Côte d‘Ivoire

Guro, Côte d‘Ivoire

Maria & Paul Wyss, Basel (1985)
Tao Kerefoff, Paris
Philippe Ratton, Paris

Publ: Fischer, Eberhard. & Homberger, Lorenz, "Die Kunst der Guro, Elfenbeinküste", Zürich, Museum Rietberg 1985

The auction offer includes two private collections, which couldn't be more different: the collection of the Dutch artist and designer Piet Lepelaar with works from Indonesia and the Asmat cultures, as well as masks and figures from the central african Congo regions and Angola (80 lots).

The Dieter Schaffner Collection (250 lots), on the other hand, has a completely different relationship to Africa. His entire interest was in weapons and spears, especially the hunting and prestige weapons of the former Zaire. A publication on his collection is currently in preparation.

Zombo, Angola

Masks of the Zombo culture are in themselves rather rare, in this quality they are downright singular: extremely aesthetically and artistically made, they are unparalleled. Its adornment is gorgeous, its workmanship is sublime, its understanding of colour is convincing, and its good and original state of preservation - all of this makes it an impressive masterpiece.