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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


Fortune favours Maori art again

16 October 2017

The currently vibrant market for Oceanic art was made plain to staff at John Nicholson’s (24% buyer’s premium) of Fernhurst in February this year when a Maori putorino or bugle flute, estimated at £50-100, sold to French dealer for £140,000. Surely, similar good fortune would not be repeated any time soon?


Riding the rising crest of the Oceanic wave

16 October 2017

The designated tribal art department at Woolley & Wallis (22% buyer’s premium) in Salisbury is now in its third year – and increasingly picking up consignments and regular buyers from well beyond its immediate hinterlands.


ATG letter: ‘Primitive’ art no more

02 October 2017

MADAM – I very much enjoyed your features on tribal art (ATG Nos 2306, 2307) in which two fairs, Tribal Art London and Parcours des Mondes, were previewed.

Mask 1

Younger buyers and five figure sales mark “turning point” for Tribal Art London

26 September 2017

This Ivory Coast Ligbi mask was one of the highlight sales at the recent edition of Tribal Art London.


Maori artefacts with 180-year history

25 September 2017

A collection of Maori artefacts with an unbroken provenance dating back to their acquisition by early English missionaries to New Zealand will be offered at John Nicholson’s of Fernhurst on October 5.

Maori artefacts

Maori artefacts traced back to early English missionaries come to auction in Surrey

20 September 2017

A collection of Maori artefacts with an unbroken provenance dating back to their acquisition by early English missionaries to New Zealand will be offered for sale at John Nicholson’s of Fernhurst on October 5.

Luba bowl

‘Parcours des Mondes’ – eight shots of objects and displays from Paris’ tribal art trail

14 September 2017

The Paris Parcours des Mondes tribal art trail started its six-day run on September 12 with visitors filling the streets in the art and antiques district of Saint Germain des Près to tour around the participating galleries.


5 Questions: Louis Nierijnck

04 September 2017

Louis Nierijnck is one of the exhibitors standing at the Tribal Art London fair from September 6-9. He specialises in tribal and ethnographic art, particularly art from Nepal and south-east Asia.

'Parcours des Mondes': a 16-year journey through Saint Germain streets

04 September 2017

A well-established lynchpin of the Paris rentrée is the gallery-based, Left Bank tribal art fair known as the 'Parcours des Mondes' (PDM) staged in the small galleries that pepper the network of streets in the 6th arrondisement antiques district around Saint Germain des Prés.


Bringing the tribal world view to Paris

04 September 2017

As France’s main tribal art showcase, the 'Parcours des Mondes', prepares for its latest staging ATG speaks to Pierre Moos, director of Tribal Art Management, organiser of the event. Moos outlines its origins, his role in its growth and how it has changed since its inception.

5 Questions 2

5 Questions: Joss Graham

28 August 2017

Joss Graham specialises in ethnographic textiles and works of art and is taking part in 'Tribal Art London' in September.


Record number of dealers in the London fair tribe

28 August 2017

Tribal Art London, the annual UK fair, seeks to raise the profile of this market in the capital.