NEW YORK – Humans make art, and making art makes us human. Nothing brings this fact into sharp relief quite like looking at tribal art and artifacts. Hundreds of groups, communities, and bands of people–some still with us, some long vanished–used, and continue to use, whatever materials are available to them to express themselves, tell their stories, and nourish their souls. You don’t need to be a member of the tribe to appreciate the creativity and the beauty of these pieces.
On June 23, starting at noon Eastern time, Jasper52 will open its Unique Tribal Art auction, featuing 150 lots of intriguing and moving works. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Standouts include an undated Luba Kanyok stool with cariatid. The Luba people live in what is now the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country in Africa. Evidence for their existence in the area traces back to the fourth century, but by the year 1500, they had formed a distinct empire that endured until the ravages of the slave trade and the ivory trade effectively destroyed it. This piece, carved from wood and standing almost 17 inches high, features the figure of a woman who balances the seat of the stool on her head. It carries an estimate of $2,000-$2,500.
Also of note is an undated wooden tribal mask created by a speaker of the Dan language, which is also called Yacouba. Its speakers reside in a region that covers the countries of Ivory Coast and Liberia. The appealing, skillfully carved asymmetrical mask measures almost 10 inches long and is estimated at $2,500-$3,000.
Another strong choice is an undated bronze or brass pendant created by members of the Senufo community in western Africa. It appears to depict a trio of animals, possibly monkeys or another primate, seated side by side on a trapezoid form decorated with crosshatching. The piece, which is mounted on a base, is estimated at $600-$700.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/