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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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tribal clubs strike it hot at Elgin auction house

25 August 2017

There was some good old-fashioned auction drama at the Elgin Auction Centre in Morayshire on August 23 when two lots of loosely-catalogued tribal clubs sold to online bidders for a combined £46,500.

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Tribal art at Paris auction from Dadaist artist collection

19 June 2017

The tribal art auction to be held at Drouot by Binoche et Giquello on June 22 features a mix of African and Oceanic artefacts and will include two lots that formerly belonged to the artist Tristran Tzara.

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Tribal tempters in new Sussex sale

22 May 2017

Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst is well known for its Garden Statuary and Natural History sales. Now it is adding a new category to the portfolio.

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Introduction to a summer of tribal shows

22 May 2017

Tribal, non-European or ethnographic art has experienced a huge growth in both general and financial appreciation this century. This boost is partly due to the connections made between indigenous art and its influence on modern and contemporary artists.

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Second slice of The Bourgogne Tribal Show

22 May 2017

While most tribal art events take place in major cities, the Bourgogne Tribal Show makes the most of its rural location.

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Interview with dealer Gordon Reece on the tribal art market

22 May 2017

The Fine Art Society’s exhibition Gordon Reece: The Art of Collecting runs from May 23-June 16. It has been curated by Reece and presents African sculpture and artefacts from the former dealer’s collection alongside the FAS’s own 20th century art and design.

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When the tribal art world comes to Brussels

22 May 2017

'Cultures – The World Arts Fair' is a gallery-based event staged every June in the antique-dealing district of Brussels known as The Sablon.

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Tribal art gathering pace in regions

18 April 2017

Auctioneers and vendors are quickly discovering that Europe’s country houses, furnished with the routine period objects that no longer generate great excitement, can occasionally yield valuable souvenirs of a colonial past.

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International previews: Paris

01 April 2017

Any item of African tribal art dating before the 19th century counts as a rarity, but the sculpture to be offered by Christie’s in Paris on April 4 is remarkable not only for its age but also its quality and prestigious provenance.

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‘Tribal material is seen as modern art’

01 April 2017

Why, aided by the search engine, ethnographica is assuming greater importance for regional rooms...

Moai kavakava figure at auction

Tourist souvenir or tribal art rarity? Swiss art dealer’s Easter Island figure sells for £95,000 at Berkshire auction

09 March 2017

There was some good old fashioned saleroom drama at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in Newbury yesterday when a moai kavakava style figure, estimated to bring just £400-600, sold at £95,000. The buyer in Berkshire was from Australia.

Maori flute

Sleeping bugle awakens at £140,000

04 March 2017

Estimated at £50-100, this Maori flute sold for £140,000 (plus 24% buyer’s premium) at John Nicholson’s of Haslemere on February 23.

Benin bronze

Benin bronze helps Woolley & Wallis retain lead in regional sales league

20 January 2017

A private treaty sale of a Benin bronze head helped Woolley & Wallis retain its status as the UK’s leading regional saleroom in 2016.

tribal necklace

Total sleeper: Tribal necklace sells for £99,000 at Ewbank’s instead of £15 at flea market

05 December 2016

Some good old-fashioned saleroom drama ensued at Ewbank’s of Send in Surrey on December 1 when a tribal art necklace estimated at £60-100 sold to a buyer from Continental Europe at £99,000 (plus 22.5% premium).

Leakey collection

Out of Africa to Cotswolds sale – Leakey collection heads to auction

11 October 2016

African artefacts, jewellery and fossils from a family collection linked to the celebrated palaeoanthropologists, the late Louis and Mary Leakey, are to be sold later this month at The Cotswold Auction Company.

Fijian fork

Cannibal fork from Fiji gobbled up at auction

19 September 2016

A Fijian cannibal fork was sold at Duke’s in Dorchester for £7500 on September 16.

Haida hat

Hold on to your hat: Paris' annual Parcours des Mondes gets off to a good start

09 September 2016

The Parcours des Mondes, Paris' annual tribal trail and one of the biggest commercial gatherings in this collecting area, opened on September 6.

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