Each one of our sales has a different flavour, and in this June sale offering we are pleased to be offering an important collection of African tribal artefacts.
The Tribal Art section features a number of diverse and unusual works selected from many individual collectors as well as two small collections from African Kingdoms in the Cameroon Grasslands and the Kasai Area of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The selection of authentic individual pieces has been made to show the diversity of art from Central and West Africa, South America and Alaska at different levels of the market. The highlights are two Magnificent Mother and Child sculptures; one by the Mabea people with Ratton provenance and one by the Kongo people with Pareyn provenance.In addition, a number of superb classic works of Primitive Art by the Dan, Lovale, Bamana, Ejagham, Teke and Yoruba people will be offered for sale. High quality Ethnographical objects by the Yaka, Ngombe, Yakoma, Konda, Yombe, Ashanti and Eskimo people are being auctioned. A rare Salampasu Puppet and Mask and a variety of colorful objects by the Baule, Baga and Rikbaktsa people emphasize the powerful decorative presence of these unusual pieces of Art.
The sale includes two small “Kingdom” collections. The Royal Beaded Regalia from the Cameroon Grasslands people (Bamileke, Bamoum, Bangwa and Tikar) were made with Colorful Venetian Trade Glass Beads and had no limits when it came to Creativity and Colors. Even today the Fon (King-Chief) of most of the 100 Kingdoms maintain this ancient culture intact with annual Dancing Festivals. The Kuba Kingdom in the Kasai Area of DRC reached its apex during the mid-19th century. Europeans first reached the area relatively late because of the kingdom’s relative isolation; therefore it was not as affected by the slave trade as was the Coastal area. Up to today the reigning monarchs continued the annual festivals and special occasion events to keep their ancient culture intact.
These two “Kingdom” collections speak to a high-level of selectivity on behalf of their rulers and the juxtaposition of the works emphasizes their high level of creating Beauty and Refinement to support their power.
The “Toys for Boys” section has some interesting Stuart model steam engines as well as a varied marine section of instruments, portholes and telescopes. Of particular mechanical rarity is a late 19th century Patent Express cast iron gold changer by W & T Avery, which was the Victorian forerunner of a cash in the wall machine.
The garden section includes a rare pair of period 18th century lead figures of a shepherd and shepherdess by the eminent lead sculptor of the time, John Cheere, whose yard was on Hyde Park Corner in London….somewhat changed in appearance today!
One of the famous tourist attractions in Florence is the bronze Fontana del Porcellino (Piglet fountain) in the Mercato Nuovo where rubbing the animal’s nose would bring good luck and ensure that you return to Florence. The Renaissance original by Pietro Tacca (1577-1640) has now been moved to the Uffizi gallery. The life size bronze copy replacing it is identical to one we are offering and cast by the same Florentine foundry of Ferdinando Marinelli.
On a monumental scale and from across the pond are an impressive pair of 12 ft high bronze entranceway lanterns from the Gloria Crest Estate in New Jersey, which was once occupied by the Hollywood screen legend Gloria Swanson and is where she had a much publicised affair with Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, the father of President John Kennedy.
We pride ourselves on the diversity of the material we offer and in this sale we have a real show stopper, namely a collection of highly important crime memorabilia relating to Albert Pierrepoint, the last hangman in England, together with his father Henry, including both their execution books. In Albert’s book from 29 December 1932 to 27 July 1955, hundreds of names are recorded. Among them, some notable names are listed, including Lord Haw-Haw, Ruth Ellis, Mahmood Hussein Mattan, Elizabeth Volkenrath and F. E. Hensmann. Also included are plaster casts of Pierrepoint’s face and both hands. The plaster casts have preserved an incredible level of detail whereby each facet of his countenance, each pore and wrinkle, are immortalised.
As ever we are always happy to provide condition reports on any lot and if you want to visit before the official viewing times, just give us a ring.
James and Rupert
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