From Peru to the South Pacific, and from Africa to Asia, world art of all periods, from the ancient to the contemporary, is unveiled at Tribal Art London, the UK’s only art fair devoted exclusively to selling fine and original purpose works of art, from 22 international specialists in non-Western Art.
Works range from dance masks to metalwork, textiles to tribal adornment, early photography to contemporary paintings, and at prices from under £100 to over £20,000.
Highlights in 2016 include:
A remarkable Peruvian tapestry surviving from the middle centuries of the first millennia, woven from alpaca wool and cotton, made by the people of the Chimu culture of Lambayeque, on the Northern coast of Peru. It’s pictorial design shows a fish trap. (£9,500 offered by Kapil Jariwala)
A contemporary work interpreting the Songlines traced by women making their way to the important Western Desert Ancestral site of Munni Munni by one of Australia’s brightest young indigenous artists, Marlene Young Nungurrayi, born 1971 (i.r.o. £7000 from new exhibitor Arjmand Aziz, a specialist in Australian indigenous art)
A rare sleeping mat depicting trains, carriages and people woven by the Yombe, Democratic Republic of Congo. From the late 19th century to the 1930s the country’s main railway was built through the Yombe’s traditional homeland in South Western DRC and had a great effect on their culture; there were manifold technical problems and a resulting loss of many lives. (£4,500 offered by new exhibitor Marcuson & Hall)
An important early 19th century Tongan club, the decoration of which includes human glyphs of warriors or chiefs, step motifs and incised patterns. Dating to circa 1800-1850 this rare item measures 120cms in length and is offered by new exhibitor Marcus Raccanello of Belgium priced in the region of £19,000. Pieces from the South Seas are highly sought-after by collectors.
A powerfully abstract mbulu ngulu reliquary figure of the Kota people, Gabon, West Africa. These striking guardian figures protected the revered bones of family ancestors. Kota mbulu ngulu are unique among African sculptural forms in their combination of wood covered with hammered metal, in this instance copper. (£11,500 offered by David Malik)
A 19th century Zulu wooden vessel carved from a single block of wood with no joins, half a metre tall. A feat of skill, and crafted almost certainly by a Zulu artist, either in Zululand or in the Colony of Natal, South Africa. The use of such vessels is still unclear. They may have been carved for sale to, or on commission from local chiefs or other powerful dignitaries but, perhaps more likely, they were carved for sale to colonists. Many found their way to Europe, especially Britain. One entered the Lille Museum as early as 1850. If they had an indigenous use, it would most likely to be to store snuff. (POA offered by Jeremy Sabine)
Tribal Art London takes place at the Mall Galleries in London from September 1st – 4th.