Rare, old tribal art comprises Jasper52 auction Aug. 8

Fali betrothal doll with long draperies of beads. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500. Jasper52 image

NEW YORK – Sixty-five lots of premium tribal art from, most from old European collections, are offered in a Jasper52 auction to be conducted Wednesday, Aug. 8. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Carved out in this treasury are masks, figures and other objects integral to traditional ceremonies from tribes around the world. From an old Dutch collection is an elegant Fali betrothal doll draped in strands of beads (above). The Fali people are concentrated in mountainous areas of northern Cameroon, but some live in northeastern Nigeria. When a Fali young man is ready to may, he brings the girl he desires such a doll.

A ceremonial ax of the Luba people, who are indigenous to the south-central region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has a carved face with noble features on its handle (below).

Luba ax having a carved face on the handle and nice patina. Estimate: $6,000-$7,000. Jasper52 image

A Guro zamble, a mask that has unique features, that of half leopard and half antelope, is widely used in rituals. These masks are said to involve supernatural powers.


From the heart of Africa and the Nkisi people comes a 19th-century standing figure.

Nkisi spirit figure, Songye people, Congo, 19th century. Estimate: $8,000-$9,000. Jasper52 image

A fine and rare tapis, a textile used during ritual festivities in the central Sumatra province of Lampung, dates to the second half of the 19th century or earlier. The design is enhanced by tiny mirrors sewn into the fabric.

Sumatra Lampung tapis textile, 19th century, 44 by 25 inches. Estimate: $1,500-$1,750. Jasper52 image

An old zoomorphic grating stool from the Indonesian island of Nias depicts the Lasara, a mythical beast combining features of a dragon, tiger and bird. A grating stool is used for grating out coconut meat to make coconut milk.

Zoomorphic grating stool from Nias, Indonesia, first half of the 20th century. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000. Jasper52 image

Imbued with stylized detail and tremendous depth of meaning, hand-crafted tribal pieces enchant collectors worldwide.