The African and Oceanic Arts department's last sale of the year totalled €5,932,500/$6,312,773. 81% of lots were sold, with nearly 50% of them selling above their high estimates. The highest prices went to works from collections assembled several decades ago and masterpieces from restricted corpuses.
The René and Odette Delenne collection significantly exceeded its high estimate, achieving a total of €2.9 million ($3 million) and 100% of lots sold. The group was led by a pair of statues portraying King Pokam and his wife Yugang: a masterpiece by the Master of Batoufam (Bamileke, Cameroon), which sold for €1,443,000 / $1,535,500 (lot 14).
The sale included nine lots of African Art from the Murray Frum collection, which achieved a total of €900,250/$955,000. A Fang figure from the former collection of Louis Carré fetched €423,000/$450,000 (lot 20, €400,000-500,000). Last but not least, a masterpiece of Madagascan statuary brought the session to a close with a price of €363,000 / $386,270 : world auction record for a masterpiece from Madagascar (lot 84, estimate: €120,000-180,000).
Our African and Oceanic Art auction on 2 December will be led by works from the René and Odette Delenne Collection of Arts from Oceania, Cameroon and West Africa, a group which stands out for its forceful and bold aesthetic. Since the collection was formed in the late 1950s, the core body of the Congo sculptures has been kept at Cleveland Museum of Art. Many of the African pieces – including the exceptional figures representing Pokam, King of Batufam, and his wife Yugang – have been part of many major exhibitions. The Oceanic artworks, preserved within the privacy of the Delenne’s personal collection, reveal just as many gems, acquired from such illustrious sources as Jacob Epstein, Harry Geoffrey Beasley, Jules Dumont d’Urville and Jacques Viot. Central African Arts will also come to the fore in December with a majestic Luba dignitary cane, the crowning piece from the Frum Collection, and a remarkable, previously unknown Kota Ndasa reliquary figure.