Auctions to sell some of the best Tribal Art to come to Auction in the UK
An unusual Helmet Mask from the Luba-Hemba people, from the 1920s is estimated at £6,500 – 8,500. It reproduces the feature of the sculpture of the north-eastern Hemba. The mask was collected at Karambare in the 1930’s by the Roman Dr. R. Sulsenti, at the time practicing in the area. It was then acquired by Alberto Galaverni who constituted his collection with the support of his friend Franco Monti and appeared in several publications including La mia Africa by Karen Blixen (published Olivetti,Milano, 1981). Other tribal art include those from the Kuba Kingdom, Central Africa, which flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries in the region bordered by the Sankuru, Lulua, and Kasai rivers in the south-east of the modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Kuba are most famous for their monumental helmet masks, featuring, exquisite geometric patterns, stunning fabrics, seeds, beads and shells. There was a lot of competition and it found expression in the elaboration of these regalia objects into works of extraordinary beauty. A feathered helmet mask 'Mwaash aMbooy mu shall' is estimated at £6,500 – 8,000. The Ekoi-speaking peoples (Anyang, Boki, Ejagham, Keaka, and Yako) live in the Cross River region in southeast Nigeria and Cameroon and are best known for their skin-covered masks, which may have one, two or even three faces, and for their smaller headpieces, which represent a head or an entire figure. The heads and skin-covered helmet-masks are unique in Africa. Earlier skins of slaves, later skins of antelopes, were used. When the mask is made fresh animal skin is stretched and tacked over the soft wood from which it is carved. After the skin dried, it was stained with pigments made from leaves and bark. The skin covering of a mask served as a magical agent to invoke ancestral spirits, thus eroding the barrier between living and dead participants in communal rituals. Standing Intact a 2000 year old Terracotta Figure from the Nok Culture in Nigeria was Ciram certificate in 2013 and states “2080 +/- 180 years old” - it is in excellent condition given it is from the 1st century and it is expected to sell for £16,500 – 22,000. Moving to the American continent – an Eskimo Model Kayak from the 1930s - wood covered with seal skin and lined with bone - carries an estimate of £6,000 – 8,000.What makes this model so special is that all the hunting devices are still present: spears, harpoons, spear thrower, wood float board, and bladder, paddles and other equipment used for seal hunting. The main use of an Eskimo kayak was for hunting, and seals, walruses, birds and even reindeer were all hunted using kayaks at sea. And moving South ... a neck covering headdress "Myhara" by the Rikbaktsa people of Brasil is also included in the auction. The colourful headdress is made out of a woven crown covered with feathers, and human hair. Rikbaktsa are locally called Canoeiros (Canoe People) or Orelhas de Pau (Wooden Ears), alluding to their practice of enlarging their earlobes with wooden plugs. It is estimated at £9,000 – 12,000.