Especially strong in African works

The Lempertz auction of African and Oceanic art on 5 May features highlights from the Congo, Cameroon, Central Africa, or Equatorial Guinea.

A rare Congo zoomorphic power figure was collected by the orchid hunter, Wilhelm Micholitz, in Africa in 1885/6. Micholitz worked for the highly successful orchid nursery of Frederick Sander in St Albans, J. Sander & Sons, and maintained a frequent correspondence with his employer during his extensive travels, recounting his many adventures and hardships (€ 25.000-30.000).

A rare Duala mask from Cameroon was exhibited in the Neumann & Nierendorf Gallery in Berlin in 1926 in the exhibition, Exoten, Kakteen und Janthur, the first exhibition to feature the close-up photographs of plants by Karl Blossfeldt (€ 10.000-15.000).

A rare and large pair of Yoruba twin figures from the Oke-Iho region is one of the highlights of property from the late collector, Jan Friesen of Goor in the Netherlands (€ 4.000-6.000).

A unrecorded mask from the Luluwa of the Congo is one of only a handful known (€ 6.000-8.000).

The sale will also include the last group of three masks from the collection of the Swiss artist, Charles Hug. From the Dan, Wè and Senufo the estimates range from € 2.000-12.000. 

Three fine Kota reliquary figures from a private collection have estimates ranging from € 15.000-50.000. 

Three Fang figures from Equatorial Guinea were given to the grandfather of the present owner by a neighbour in Barcelona whose family had moved from Fernando Poo (Bioko) some years earlier.  The estimates range from € 2.000-20.000. 

A large collection of Central African weapons previously adorned an entire wall in the home of the late Corneel De Vleeschouwer. Having worked aboard the ships of the Compagnie Maritime Belge bound for the Congo, his interest in Congo metalwork developed to the extent that he trained as a blacksmith. One of his rarest acquisitions was an Mbala headrest (estimate € 10.000-15.000)

The sale concludes with the collection of the late Dr. Hans Walter Liebenschütz. Born in Indonesia, his interest in non-western art was inspired by his uncle, the renowned palaeontologist and geologist, G. H. R. von Köningswald who worked in Java. Highlights include a post from the Moluccas Islands surmounted by an ancestor figure which was collected by H.J. Raedt van Oldenbarnevelt, circa 1900 and was on loan to the Tropical Institute in Amsterdam from 1915 until 1982 (€ 10.000-15.000). A fine Sepik mask is estimated at € 10.000-15.000. 

Auction Dates

Auction 1218 - African and Oceanic Art

African and Oceanic Art
Wednesday 10. 05. 2023, 02:00 pm
Lot 1 - 229
Auction 1218
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
2 pm

In partnership with Artcurial.

The auction will be streamed online. We kindly ask you to place your bids – if possible at least 48 hours prior to the auction – online, by telephone or as an absentee bid. Detailed descriptions, and additional photographs available online.
Brussels, 6 rue du Grand Cerf

Thursday 4 May to Saturday 6 May:
10 am - 6 pm

Sunday 7 May:
11 am - 5 pm

Monday 8 May to Tuesday 9 May:
10 am - 6 pm

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 0221/92 57 29–30.

Jan Bykowski
Press and public relations
Cologne, May 2023