Tribal
Art

Auction Art of Africa, the Pacific and the Americas

Lempertz, Brussels
9 April 2019

Nigerian Splendour

NUPE PALACE DOOR

 

Estimated price:
€ 6.000 – € 8.000

Representational motifs are most commonly used in the carving of door panels, most notably in Lapai (Abuja Emirate) where the carvers of Sakiwa’s compound have been instrumental in keeping alive this form of carving, and in Agaie (Bida Emirate) whose carvers operate largely in the Sakiwa tradition. The doors are carved in two, three, four or five separate panels, depending on the size of the door frame and the thickness of available trees. In all cases the background is plain, with the highly stylized forms carved in high-relief. The objects represented fall into five categories: articles made by the carvers, such as canoe paddles, spoons, shoes and Muslim writing boards; common household objects, including fans, smoking pipes, padlocks, keys, weapons such as bows and arrows, guns, sheathed and unsheathed knives and matchets, and the carvers’ own tools, the axe, adze, and small knife.; symbols; animals; and man. …Animals represented are Fulani cows, turtles, horses, snakes, chameleons, dogs, duikers, snails, lizards, a variety of birds (some resembling the ostrich), including a strange, double-headed and four-legged bird of no apparent significance. The highly stylized representation of a man seems a recent innovation, not evident on older doors.

 

taken from: Phillips Stevens, ‘Nupe Wood Carving’ (Nigeria Magazine, no.88, March 1966, pp.29-31)

Probably from a carver at Sakiwa’s compound in Lapai,
Nigeria, height 243 cm
Congolese Heritage

Democratic Republic of the Congo, collected by the father of the present owner in the 70s, height 54 cm

HEMBA ANCESTOR
FIGURE

 

Estimated price:
€ 20.000 – € 30.000

Democratic Republic of the Congo, collected by the father of the present owner in the 70s, height 54 cm

HEMBA ANCESTOR
FIGURE

 

Estimated price:
€ 20.000 – € 30.000

 

From the previous season:
Only the artist knew

Tim Teuten on

SULKA WAR SHIELD

 

Estimated price:
€ 25.000 – € 30.000
Result:
€ 111.600

Tim Teuten, Expert on African and Oceanic Arts
T +32 (0) 251405-86 | africa@lempertz.com
New Britain,
length 127.5 cm

“This superb and rare nineteenth century shield displays the bold stylised motifs in traditional natural colours typical of, and unique to, the Sulka of New Britain. These colourful designs have always appealed to me, conjuring up the ethereal faces of spirits, birds and animals. Research has shown the designs are difficult to interpret; only the artist knew exactly what he intended. A rare feature of this example is the stylized mask on the central boss, not present on the majority of examples. The shield was formerly in the collection of Professor Carl Otto Czeschka, the artist and one of the masters of the Neue Sachlichkeit in Hamburg. He was a friend of the famous Hamburg dealer, Julius Konietzko, and married Konietzko’s widow following the death of his own wife near the end of his life.”

From the previous season:
Only the artist knew

Tim Teuten on

SULKA WAR SHIELD

 

Estimated price:
€ 25.000 – € 30.000
Result:
€ 111.600


Tim Teuten, Expert on African and Oceanic Arts
T +32 (0) 251405-86 | africa@lempertz.com
New Britain,
length 127.5 cm

“This superb and rare nineteenth century shield displays the bold stylised motifs in traditional natural colours typical of, and unique to, the Sulka of New Britain. These colourful designs have always appealed to me, conjuring up the ethereal faces of spirits, birds and animals. Research has shown the designs are difficult to interpret; only the artist knew exactly what he intended. A rare feature of this example is the stylized mask on the central boss, not present on the majority of examples. The shield was formerly in the collection of Professor Carl Otto Czeschka, the artist and one of the masters of the Neue Sachlichkeit in Hamburg. He was a friend of the famous Hamburg dealer, Julius Konietzko, and married Konietzko’s widow following the death of his own wife near the end of his life.”