Lempertz will exhibit highlights of its 25 January 2023 auction of African and Oceanic art in Artcurial, Paris, from 6 to 9 September 2022.

The exhibition will feature “Selections from the Seymour Lazar Collection”. Seymour Lazar of Palm Springs was a successful entertainment lawyer turned stock trader and courageous investor who started collecting in the 1960s. He counted amongst his friends and clients Lenny Bruce, Miles Davies, Alan Ginsberg, Maya Angelou and the Psychedelic drug advocate Timothy Leary.  He enjoyed assembling large series of objects - clubs, combs, spoons, etc. Many were acquired from dealers such as his long-term friend, Peter Adler, in London, and many at auction. Names listed amongst the objects’ various provenances include some of the most famous names from the history of African and Oceanic art collecting - Lt.Gen. Pitt Rivers, Harry Beasley, Helena Rubinstein, Klaus Perls, J.J. Klejman, Morris Pinto, Ernst Heinrich, Harold Rome, Stéphen Chauvet, Henri Kamer and Ben Heller.

Objects from the Lazar collection include a group of Admiralty Islands lime-spatulas collected on the voyage of La Korrigane in 1935. One was recorded as having been carved by Fako of Drano village. It belonged to Pefen from whom the Countess E. de Ganay bought it on 14 September 1935 in exchange for three sticks of tobacco. A group of Massim lime-spatulas from New Guinea were formerly owned by the English collector, Harry Beasley; another was included in the famous 1984 “Primitivism” exhibition in New York.  A Massim shield, Papuan Gulf gope board and a Maori paddle were all acquired by Lt. Gen. Pitt Rivers at the end of the 19th century. A New Britain mask comes from the Herz-Jesu Mission in Hiltrup, Germany.

From Africa a Mossi figure from the dealer Henri Kamer was included in his 1973 exhibition, Haute-Volta, in Brussels and was later published in Christopher Roy’s 1987 book,

Art of the Upper Volta Rivers. A Songye stool formerly in the collection of the Belgian photographer, Raoul Blondiau, was included in the famous 1937/8 Antwerp exhibition at the Stadsfeestzaal, Tentoonstelling van Kongo-Kunst and was later in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art.

A fine group of headrests from a private European collection will also feature in the Paris exhibition. These were presented as gifts to the present owner by the renowned English dealer, John Hewett. They include examples from the Luba, Shona, Tsonga, Zulu and Kuba peoples as well as two examples from Fiji. From the same collection a superb small stone nomoli figure from Sierra Leone has passed through the hands of many famous dealers and collectors.

An exceptionally old and rare Kuba female Ngady amwaash mask from the collection of the late Jos Vanderveken was acquired from the Antwerp dealer, Nadya Levi in the 1970s. A superb, small, Lega mask comes from the same collection.


+32 2 514 05 86

6-9 September, 11 am – 6 pm

Rdpt des Champs-Élysées Marcel-Dassault
75008 Paris