Africa

Younger buyers and five figure sales mark “turning point”

This Ivory Coast Ligbi mask was one of the highlight sales at the recent edition of Tribal Art London. The anthropomorphic face mask, measuring 30cm (12in) tall, is carved in wood with pigments, cloth and fibers. It was offered with a good provenance for a price in the region of $16,000 by first-time exhibitor Mark Eglinton, who is based in New York.

Tribal Art London, which took place from September 6-9 at the Mall Galleries, featured 23 exhibitors. It was the largest event to date for the fair which is now 10 years old. It is organized by Bryan Reeves of Tribal Gathering London who called this a “turning point”.

“The fair is now evidently attracting enthusiastic younger buyers looking to cross over between contemporary and tribal art,” Reeves said, adding that serious investors and collectors also attended.

All of the above was published recently in the Antiques Trade Gazette. Don’t be scared off by the $16,000. Most people can’t afford masks with impeccable provenance. Others, with plenty of time and much less money, can occasionally find great folk art without provenance. Don’t give up.

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