The last sales of 2014 for the African & Oceanic Art department concluded with a result of €12 million, bringing the annual total to nearly €26 million at Sotheby's France – a record in this category.
The sale dedicated to African and Oceanic Arts achieved a result of €5.8 million at Sotheby's Paris and showcased two spectacular new-to-the-market items. A sublime Rapa, an abstraction of the human body wrought by two flat blades connected by a handle, broke the world record for a work from Easter Island, selling for €1,889,500 against a pre-sale estimate of €300,000-400,000). From the same collection, a pectoral Reimiro, another iconic piece from Easter Island, tripled its high estimate, achieving €901,500. The object, in the form of a crescent with horns decorated with symmetrical sculptures, bears the traces of extensive use as an insignia reserved for the highest levels of Easter Island aristocracy. Finally, Zande art was also honoured with a magnificent collection from the diocese of Bondo whose most coveted piece, an anthropomorphic harp from Central African Republic, doubled its high estimate with a final hammer price of €433,500.
A variety of the greatest examples of African art will be offered in this sale, from the striking modernity of archaic Ubangi Region statuary, to the abstract shapes of the Mangbetu kingdom. The latter will be represented by a historic set of objects of simple and great beauty, collected in 1934 by the Dominican Sisters of Namur. Oceanic art will be celebrated by a remarkable ensemble which exemplifies the mysterious beauty of the art of the Easter Islands, including two notable discoveries.