ALTHOUGH they were one of three auctioneers forced to withdraw pre-Columbian works of art from sale last year over questions of provenance, Christie’s will continue to offer early South American items for auction in Paris.
Contrary to suggestions, Christie’s will offer 125 lots of pre-Columbian art in Paris on June 14 as part of a two-session, 350-lot tribal art sale.
Christie's Pre-Columbian consultant Fatma Turkkan-Wille told the Antiques Trade Gazette that she is hoping things will get back to normal following the withdrawal of 29 works from three sales last December at the demand of the Ecuadorian ambassador, who claimed they had been removed from his country illegally.
The other two firms concerned, Tajan and ArtCurial, have no plans to resume the controversial pre-Columbian sales.
The items offered on June 14 will be of varied provenance, with 47 lots from South America, including six pieces of gold jewellery from Colombia, whose embassy questioned the provenance of a Tairona gold pendant offered by Christie’s in June 2003. The firm sold the pendant to France’s future Quai Branly tribal art museum for €200,000 after providing documentary evidence that it had been in the possession of Arthur Rouet and his descendants since 1870.
Turkkan-Wille says the Paris embassies of all the countries represented at the sale will be invited to the viewing (starting June 4), to be held jointly with the Latin American paintings that Christie's are selling in Paris for the first time on June 10.
Back to top