Tribal Art in Europe's new centre

49° 47' 23'' N, 9° 55' 58'' O - Your geodata for non-European art on March 7, 2020

49° 47' 23'' N, 9° 55' 58'' O  - this is your geodata for non-European art in Europe's new center.

When Great Britain implements Brexit at the end of January, Europe's centre will move geographically and almost exactly, to Wurzburg, the position where non-European art has long had a permanent place. The Tribal Art Auction on March 7th with international private collections, such as that of Peter Willborg, Stockholm, would like to highlight this again.

The special catalogue is dedicated to the 108 lots of the Tribal Art collection of gallery owner Peter Willborg (born 1955), Stockholm, Sweden, who died in early 2019. He had made a name for himself worldwide as an expert for old carpets from the Orient. His second passion was the arts of Africa and Oceania. "It clears my head and frees it of carpets," as he once remarked. Tribal Art, paintings and his antique carpets made a strong impression in his exhibitions and publications, creating this highly apprecited synthesis of the arts.

Auction in Wurzburg:
Saturday, 7 March 2020 – 2 pm

Preview in Wurzburg:
4 to 6 March from 10 am to 7 pm  
7 March from 9 am to 2 pm


Catalogue order

Tribal Art from the Peter Willborg Collection

Mask, Nigeria, Ogoni, Ibibio, Max Willborg, Peter Willborg

Nigeria, Ogoni / Ibibio
This exceptional mask 'karikpo' was been published in 1988/1989 at the Stockholm exhibition "Före / Before Picasso, Afrikansk konst i svensk ägo / African Art in Swedish Collections". It entered the collection of Peter's father, Max Willborg, renowned Africa gallery owner of the 1960s, in 1975. Only two more masks of this rare type of mask are documented.

Power figure, Yombe, D.R. Congo, Tribal Art Collection Peter Willborg, Carl Niklas Börrisson

Yombe, D. R. Congo
"This might be the best figure in my collection", noted Peter Willborg. Its entire artistic quality culminates in the physiognomy: delicate, vulnerable and yet inhabited by a powerful spirit. It is this apparent contradiction that has been impressively united by the master of this figure.

Peter Willborg bought this power figure from the widow of Carl Niklas Börrisson's son in 1991. Börrisson was a missionary from the Swedish Evangelical Mission ("Evangeliska Fosterlands-Stiftelsen") and worked in the Kinkenge area between 1894 and 1907/08 where the Bwende people lived. Even today there are many pieces to see in the Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm collected by him. After his return to Sweden, Börrisson compiled a comprehensive catalogue, which was finally published in 1925. Noteworthy: Börrisson wrote the catalogue in Swedish and Bantu language Kikongo as well. For all pieces he used their local names and was, in most cases, able to described their function.

Mende, Sierra Leone, Tribal Art Collection Peter Willborg, Thomas Halling

Mende, Sierra Leone
This wonderfully carved mask might be a work of the Sande artist "Sogande of Fuinda", as is supposed by Frederic John Lamp ("By their fruits you will know them, Sande mask carvers identified". In: Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers & A. Bortolot, Visions from the Forest, Seattle, London 2014, p. 56-81). He worked in the Kenema District from 1930 to 1950 or earlier and died around 1968. The provenance history ends with Peter Willborg, but goes back to 1937.

Africa und Oceania from the Walter Stanley Schwab Collection

Grave figure, Bambona, D. R. Congo, Lower Congo province / Northern Angola, Bambona, Stanley Walter Schwab, Gottfried Künzi, Arnold Bamert

Bambona, D. R. Congo, Lower Congo province / Northern Angola
This grave sculpture is an idealized portrait of a highly respected person. At the same time it is considered to be the seat of the dead spirits, who offered protection. The thinker pose reflects the wisdom of the ruler who carefully weighs-up things before acting. The "Pensieroso" was documented as early as 1970 by Gottfried Künzi, then Arnold Bamert, Solothurn. Walter Stanley Schwab (1934-2017) acquired this work in his later years of collecting, long after his return from Africa to Switzerland.

Pre-Columbian Art from the Anna Maria Posset Collection

Veracruz Culture, Mexico, Gulf Coast, Pre-Columbia Collection Anna Maria Posset

Veracruz culture, Gulf Coast Mexico
Whether modern artist like Paul gauguin, or contemporary artists like Keith Haring, whether collectors like Helena Rubinstein or Anton Roeckl, art enthusiasts and connoisseurs around the world still appreciate the works of these high cultures and their congenial artists.

We present around 25 works from the German private collection of Anna Maria Posset (1922-2018) in the "Pre-Columbian Art" section, including this "Hacha", which measures only 16 cm. Posset acquired it between 1975 and 1985 at the Gerdes Gallery in Ainmillerstrasse, Munich, Germany.