Ethnographica & Tribal Art

This category comprises artefacts and works of art made by indigenous peoples.

It began as a collecting area when anthropologists began acquiring and studying these items in the 19th century. Nowadays works are valued for their craftsmanship and decorative quality as well as for their historical and social interest.

The geographical spread in this sector ranges from Oceanic (Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand), African, Native American and South American art. Pre-Columbian works represent a sought-after sector – art from the Americas dating from before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492.

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Fair lays down tribal landmarks

13 August 2018

Anniversary of Cook voyage and a book 15 years in the making underpin London event...

Yaka wooden headrest

Tribal art from banker and collector Adolphe Stoclet’s famous Brussels residence consigned to Christie’s

08 August 2018

Adolphe Stoclet (1871-1949) made his fortune as a banker, heading the Société Générale de Belgique, which allowed him to indulge a passion for fine art and music.

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Paris showcases the world

09 July 2018

Summer tribal art sales in Paris have produced a clutch of strong results for works from different world centres, both African and Oceanic, often for pieces that came with renowned provenances. Three of them are pictured here.

Austral Islands necklace

Ornaments from rare Austral Islands necklace offered at Folkestone auction

07 July 2018

A group of eight rare pendant ornaments from an Austral Islands necklace has been consigned to Grand Auctions in Folkestone.

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Tribal art previews from Paris to Vienna

28 May 2018

Three tribal art previews of objects being offered at auctions in Paris and Vienna.

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Britain catches up on colonial past with tribal art specialisation

28 May 2018

Last year the UK’s regional salerooms were treated to a generous handful of five- and six-figure bids for unappreciated masterworks of Aboriginal and Oceanian art – a Maori putorino or bugle flute sold to a French dealer for £140,000 at John Nicholson’s of Haslemere among them.

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The tribal art market's global village

28 May 2018

One of the better reflections of the art world’s global reach is the tribal art market. No longer the preserve of a handful of aficionados or avant-garde early 20th century artists, the artefacts of non-European cultures are now the subject of worldwide interest and appreciation.

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A gathering of Cultures in Brussels

28 May 2018

One of the longest-standing events in the tribal art dealing fraternity takes place this month in Brussels, a key centre of the tribal art market.

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Enjoy tribal art in relaxed rural setting

21 May 2018

Burgundy beckons enthusiasts for tribal art this week with the third edition of the Bourgogne Tribal Show.

Canoe bailer

South Pacific ula and canoe bailer from the family of 19th century murdered missionary hammered down at auction in Dorset

14 April 2018

A South Pacific ula throwing club and a Maori canoe bailer that once belonged to an English reverend killed by cannibals in Vanuatu in the 19th century has sold at an auction at Duke's Auctioneers in Dorchester.

Headrest 3

North Nguni headrest takes more than 10 times estimate at Edinburgh auction

03 April 2018

An African headrest soared past its upper estimate to take £65,000 at a recent Edinburgh auction.

Auguste Rodin’s bronze Le Baiser (The Kiss)

Christie’s brings in three European dealers for Hong Kong showcase

02 April 2018

Christie’s is ringing the changes for its auction series in Hong Kong this spring by inviting three European dealers exhibit works at its sale venue.

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Salerooms feel the tribe is right

15 January 2018

The rising popularity of the tribal art collecting scene is tempting auction houses to take steps in that direction.

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Career launched by pocket money pottery purchases

15 January 2018

Not only is industrious Derbyshire auction house Hansons about to launch its new saleroom down south, but it is also starting a new sale format building on the popular tribal art collecting scene.

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Tribal Art at BRAFA 2018

15 January 2018

Tribal art has long been a Belgian speciality due to the country’s colonial history in Africa. So it is not surprising to see this area well represented at BRAFA, with around a dozen participants in this field hailing from Paris, Brussels and as far away as Montreal.

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Collaborations and cross-cultural displays at Winter Bruneaf

15 January 2018

While BRAFA understandably dominates much of the cultural headlines during this period, it is not the only show in town.

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Oceanic landmarks passed in Paris auctions

02 January 2018

Paris’ status as a centre of the tribal art market was underscored this season with a brace of high prices in the field of Oceanic art.

Sioux knife sheath

Sioux knife sheath from the Battle of Little Bighorn at Boston auction

20 November 2017

A Sioux Indian beaded knife sheath from the Battle of Little Bighorn could be the highlight of Skinner’s sale of American Indian and Ethnographic art to be held on December 2 in Boston.

TEFAF Maastricht 2016

TEFAF backs tribal gathering for 2018 edition

30 October 2017

TEFAF Maastricht has added ‘TEFAF Tribal’ as a new category to its 2018 edition in a move that points to the ongoing strength of the tribal art market.

Tribal Art Fair Amsterdam

Dutch diversity – Amsterdam’s Tribal Art Fair gets set for latest staging

20 October 2017

The global tribal art fair circuit moves to The Netherlands this month with the 15th staging of its annual ‘Tribal Art Fair’ taking place in Amsterdam at the De Duif church on Prinsengracht.

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