Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The museum added to its holdings last month when it stepped in to pre-empt this Ivory Coast statue at Binoche et Giquello’s tribal art sale at Drouot, when the hammer fell at €500,000 (£416,670).

The 17in (44cm) high wooden statue is veneered in gold and applied with coral, glass and gold bead ornaments and strands of coconut fibre and is a work from Akyé people who live in the lagoon regions of the southern Ivory Coast.

It had a provenance to several Belgian and French private collections including that of Patrick Girard, who informed the auctioneers that he had acquired the piece 30 years ago from a dealer in La Rochelle who told him they had bought it from a woman in that city. 

The figure will complement another piece of rare Akyé art, a mask that was formerly in the collection of Hubert Goldet, that the Musée du Quai Branly acquired a year ago. 

A few moments later at the same sale on May 19, the museum also went on to pre-empt a second Ivory Coast object at €40,000 (£33,335). This was an 8in (20cm) high patinated wood Guro heddle pulley from a loom in the form of a standing figure. This came with provenances to a string of major names including that of Félix Fenéon, Tristan Tzara, Hubert Goldet and Morris Pinto.

More tribal art sales and events are featured in the International section of this week's ATG print publication.