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The Uli ancestor figure from New Ireland that led Sotheby’s September 16 sale of works from the Frum collection when it sold for €1.35m (£1.12m).

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Frum (1931-2013), a Canadian real estate developer, spent 50 years assembling a collection that encompassed African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian art as well as silver, Art Deco, Renaissance and Canadian paintings.

Many of his ethnographic art purchases had distinguished provenances, such as the renowned James Hooper collection auctioned by Christie's in 1979 and 1980. As a consequence, many pieces here came with highly desirable lengthy histories.

Three lots broke the €1m barrier. Topping the list at €1.35m (£1.12m), well over the €700,000-1m estimate, was a 4ft 7in (1.4m) high carved and painted Uli ancestor figure from New Ireland. A piece with a long collecting history, it was acquired c.1904-08 by Wilhelm Wöstrack, the district officer stationed at Namatanai who was charged by Graf von Linden to collect objects for his Linden Museum in Stuttgart at a time of great competition for ethnographic material among German museums. It passed through the hands of several private collectors before selling to the tribal art specialist Lance and Roberta Entwistle prior to its acquisition by Frum.

This was followed at €1.2m (£1m) by a 15in (39cm) high, freestanding carved wooden Maori figure from New Zealand against a substantial €1.5m-2m estimate.

Third at €1m (£833,330) was a 19in (49cm) high carved wooden head of a Staff God from Rarotonga, one of the Cook Islands. Thought to have been collected in situ by a member of the London Missionary Society in the 1820s, it was one of a number of pieces from the James Hooper Collection.

The sale was held just after the closure of the main tribal art fair in Paris, the Parcours des Mondes or extramural tribal art trail (September 9-14), and was on view throughout the Parcours. In total 2300 people viewed the sale which saw bidding in the room, on the phone and online from Europe, the US and Asia.

At the Parcours itself, visitors from across the world made their way round an equally international roster of 68 exhibitors showing a mix of Oceanic, African and South East Asian artefacts in the densely packed network of galleries around the Saint Germain quarter of Paris.

Among the many who chalked up sales were Bruce Frank, one of the ten US exhibitors, who sold seven pieces of Oceanic art; Guilhem Montagut from Barcelona, who sold around 15 pieces in a €20,000-80,000 price range from his themed exhibition on artefacts from Mali; Martin Doustar, who sold seven of the 40-odd ritually decorated skulls from his themed exhibition Golgotha; and Stéphane Jacob from Paris, who sold 22 pieces from his exhibition devoted to Aboriginal painting.

£1 = €1.2