This sale in Paris includes some of the most important offerings of the art from Papua New Guinea ever to come to auction. Twelve objects from the collection of Marsha and John Friede represent the archaic beauty and ethereal quality of the art from this remote island in the Pacific Ocean. Highlights of the group include an exceptionally rare Ewa female figure (lot 9), formerly in the collection of Douglas Newton, curator at the Metropolitan Museum, and a crouching female figure (lot 6) which was included in the landmark Oceanic Art exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York in 1934.
This June is the 50th anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In recognition of this landmark event, this sale includes a number of archaic works from the country including an important Hemba ancestor figure (lot 73). Dated to the early 19th century, the impressive figure reflects an époque of great prestige in the princely families of the Luba and Hemba.
The dynamic interplay between African art and works produced by some of the most major artists of the 20th century - including Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso - was celebrated in 1984 at the Art Center in Basel with an exhibition entitled 'Resonances'. Lot 39, a magnificent Senufo equestrian statue, was included in the exhibition and displays exactly the characteristics that those artists admired in African art: each angle of the form is treated with equal appreciation, creating a feeling of motion in a standing sculpture, an element which was so important in the use of the figures themselves within Senufo culture.