On 15th May, Sotheby’s New York will host its first ever auction of African art. A host of awe-inspiring artefacts ranging from a Senufo Oracle Figure from the Cote D’Ivoire ($8,000 to $12,000), to a Parring Shield/Club from the Soloman Islands ($10,000 to $15,000) will go on sale at the world-famous auction house.
The star of the show will be a Chokwe Female Statue – a previous feature of the Jacques Kerchache Collection. According to Sotheby’s this is a ‘masterpiece of exquisite quality’ which has been resident in the same private collection since 1982. The catalogue estimate for this figure is currently set at $1,500,000 to $2,500,000. She has previously been exhibited at the Galerie Le Courneur-Roudillon, Paris, in the Spring of 1968. Part of a small collection of extant Chokwe pieces surviving from the Angolan tribe, the statue was carved in the 18th-19th Century in the pays d’origine style.
Lot 29 features another figure with a high catalogue estimate. Judged to be worth around the $1million mark, the Female Statue from Lake Sentani (Papua, Indonesia) cuts a striking, determined pose. Japanese artist Kichizo Inagaki (1851 – 1951) designed a bespoke wooden base for the piece. Originally collected in situ by Jacques Viot for Pierre Loeb, the figure has spent the years since gracing 3 other private collections in Paris.
Overall, the auction will include a selection of highly-curated art and artefacts, not only from Africa, Oceania and the Americas as the title informs, but also Pre-Columbian and American Indian pieces.
See the Sotheby’s site for further details. The lengthy catalogue proves a feast for the eyes for collectors and experts alike.