african art value, extremes
African and Oceanian arts extreme values
(archives) Published : June, 21 2011
For the last 20 years, the primitive art market is booming. The auction sales come and go, particularly since 1990, marked by the sale of a statue Bangwa (northern Cameroon) belonging to the former Helena Rubinstein collection for the astronomical price of 3.41 million … The good results recorded by Christie’s and Sotheby’s this year confirms the growing interest in this market, which nevertheless remains quite heterogeneous.
For a sculpture to sell thousands or even millions of euros, it must fulfill some major requirements: the work must of course be rare, it
must conclusively date from before the Second World War, it had been collected by a famous anthropologist or ethnographer and have belonged to a serious amateur (Pierre Vérité collection for example). Last but not least, it must have been legally exported from its territory.
A market of extremes
If some sculptures are sold millions of dollars you should know that in primitive arts, false and copies are numerous. Also, about 90% of lots auctioned do not exceed five hundred euros because they can not be objectively dated
Brussels and Paris are the two main…
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