Tribal art under the spotlight at Christie’s

Paris, 15 March 2018

On Monday 9 April and Tuesday 10 April 2018, Christie’s Paris is holding two sales starring tribal art from Africa, America and Oceania.

On Monday 9 April, 149 Pre-Columbian art objects from Ilya and Marina Prigogine’s collection will go on sale. A Belgian physicist and chemist of Russian origins, Ilya Prigogine won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1977. He started collecting tribal art in 1960s with his wife, and filled out the collection towards the end of his life.

African, American and Oceanic pieces will be on offer, but the highlight will be the exceptional lot featuring Mexican sculptures. The latter are a unique testimony to Olmec culture and the Chontal and Mezcala tribes that lived in the mountainous regions of Guerrero.

Little remains known about the lives of these peoples, but most of the objects at the sale probably held a ritual function. The sale’s climax will be a set of anthropomorphic figurines dated between 300 and 100 B.C. A talk introducing the collection will also be given on 5 April 2018 by Alex Arthur (Tribal Art Magazine).

On 10 April, Christie’s is organising another sale with art objects from America, Africa and Oceania. Leading lots include an exceptional Fang reliquary figure that belonged to art dealer Paul Guillaume, who presented it in 1933 as part of an exhibition on painter André Derain and Fang statues at the Galerie Durand-Ruel (Paris).

© Christie's - FIGURE DE RELIQUAIRE FANG, eyema byeri, GABON