Important collection of Tribal Art at Nantwich saleroom

Cheshire fine art auctioneers Peter Wilson will bring Africa to their Nantwich saleroom on Thursday November 5th with the first of a series of sales to be held in the coming months to disperse a massive and important private collection of Tribal Art.

Lot169 Ambete reliquary figures £100-150One man, who has insisted on anonymity, amassed the collection that encompasses several decades from the late-1980s with a passion for the subject, buying from all of the big three London salerooms, specialist dealers and fairs and even directly from sources in Tanzania and other African locations.

Such was his love for the country that he has now retired to live there, leaving the collection behind. However, storage costs have mounted and it is being offered on behalf of the storage company in order to recover costs. As a result, VAT must be paid on the hammer price of individual lots. Nothing is estimated at more than £200.

Chris Large with some of the tribal art to be sold on November 5Peter Wilson’s specialist in charge of the sale, Chris Large (left), said the size and breadth of the collection is remarkable. “This first in what will be a series of sales comprises just over 200 lots, but this is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

“The collector bought methodically and selectively, often from known collections being dispersed in other auctions. Our auctions offer others the chance to commence a collection of their own or else enhance an existing one at prices unlikely to be seen again.”

It is interesting to make parallels between this collection and those formed by such artists as Matisse, Picasso, Braque and Miro, without whose interest in tribal art there would never have been a Cubist movement.

Picasso in particular is said to have experienced a “revelation” when he viewed African art at an ethnographic museum in Paris and the influence can be seen clearly in what has become known as the artist’s African Period of 1906-09.

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