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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.