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Re: [African_Arts] Art Authenticity

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  • Ron Martin
    Lee, Thank you for taking the time to explain so eloquently the auction house methods of selection and criteria. I have not heard the subject explained so
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 9, 2006
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      Lee,
       
      Thank you for taking the time to explain so eloquently the auction house methods of selection and criteria.
       
      I have not heard the subject explained so clearly and thoroughly.
       
      Thank you!!!
       
      Sincerely,
       
      Dudenamaste'
       


       
      On 6/8/06, LRubinstein@... <LRubinstein@...
      > wrote:

      Dear Marc:
       
      You raise a difficult question, one to which I can respond only with my own observations and perspectives but without objective certainty or an exhaustive accounting of the factors which come into play.  Perhaps others will share their own experiences to round out and even counter the statements which I can offer to give you some ideas to consider in determining how you wish to proceed with the re-sale of objects which you have collected. 
       
      There are many factors beyond authenticity that inform decisions made by individuals and institutions (auction houses, galleries, etc.) with regard to value and interest of particular pieces.  It is important to keep in mind that auction houses --  commercial venues for the presentation and sale of "art" -- are subject to forces and considerations above and beyond the plausible authenticity of works presented.  Generally speaking, unless an auction house has a specific interest in handling an object presented by a hopeful seller, representatives are unlikely to offer more than a courteous but cursory refusal and rarely will comment one way or the other on issues of authenticity or quality much akin to the policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  The issue of authenticity really does not come into play in this dialogue;  there is no issue because in fact the discussion does not reach the point of even asking the question. 
       
      As primarily commercial enterprises (often with shareholders and sales/profit quotas to achieve), auction houses seek to compile an exclusive and lucrative (profitable) group of offerings which appeal to their targeted community of buyers as well as to preserve the value and importance of works previously sold for the purposes of future re-sale.  So, the "vetting" process which you describe with regard to an auction house's consideration of offered works from an unknown seller is not one of objective analysis and dialogue.  Too, I believe, a preference is shown for sellers with whom an auction house has an established and on-going relationship or with whom they have a specific objective to establish such an exclusive and mutually beneficial relationship.  Beyond the consideration of the work itself is the long-range analysis of the place of the object in the market which is posited upon the intended satisfaction of clients as well as generating profit for the "houses" and the cultivation of relationships with holders of valued works for potential future sales.  As is true for a Buyer in a retail establishment, one will generally only "stock" that which will likely be sold to its targeted customer and which satisfies the criteria expected by that customer while generating profit and recognition for the retailer, or seller. 
       
      Further underlying this process of selection, there is the need to delimit the class of highly valued objects presented on the market, thus resulting in the exclusion of a broader range of related works that might detract from the professed rarity, exclusivity and value of works previously sold through that venue for its existing clients and on the broader stage of the world market for such objects.  This is pure market economics combined with client cultivation in a high-end commercial setting which handles cultural objects as tradable commodities.  While anybody can indeed present works for consideration for introduction onto this stage, I would venture to say that the playing field is regulated by rules beyond those which simply apply to object analysis. 
       
      Provenance -- including collection history but more frequently prior ownership, exhibition and publication history -- is a critical factor in assessing not necessarily the authenticity but rather the desirability (marketability) of a work offered for consideration in this particular setting.  In the absence of such criteria, a particularly fine work may be accepted;  however, I think it is true that the likelihood is increased perhaps by the other holdings of the Seller and the long-range possibility of engaging that seller to utilize the auction house for the sale of other objects of value (and not necessarily just works offered through one particular department of the auction house).  Perhaps as important in this context as the analysis of the object is the analysis of the seller!  That is not to say, again, that a particularly fine object -- as distinguished by masterful carving, convincing patina or some other distinctive characteristics that raise it above the multitude of objects that are in circulation -- may not be accepted.  I think, however, a newcomer is at a distinct disadvantage but do not presently have the time or the heart to delve into the social-and-economic-class underpinnings of this particular "culture."
       
      Galleries and dealers, too, apply the same considerations mentioned above to works offered for the same purposes.  However, the less public nature of many gallery transactions as well as the more direct relationships with clientele may offer a more receptive arena to enable the possibility that works which are not "suitable" for major, public auctions may be considered for private sales to specific clients with whom a particular dealer has a relationship and knowledge of that prospective buyer's interest in particular objects.  Further, you may also find individual dealers with a more specialized interest in works from a particular region or in specific classes of objects or media ( e.g., bronzes, ceramics, divination implements, etc.).  The identification of -- and development of relationships with -- such individuals can also facilitate a learning process through which to hone one's skills of perception and analysis while providing an opportunity to gain more information and insight into the classes of objects in which you have an interest.  Such relationships may provide a conduit through which works can gain further accreditation through association with, and confirmation by, established "authorities" in the field or, on the other hand, help one to understand the elements (characteristics, deficiencies, etc.) which disqualify queried objects from placement on the pedestals on which we as "collectors" wish to see "our" objects placed. 
       
      I think it is important to note that even in institutions where there is not a primary emphasis on market value per se, the same emphasis on documentation and quality holds true.  (I should note here that there is yet another level of financial value that may be applied here as charitable donations do offer financial incentives that are manifest as tax deductions rather than direct payments so the question of financial value is not absence in this context either.)  As is true in more explicitly commercial settings, museums, too, may decline to consider the acceptance of works offered as donations if they are lacking in pedigree.  While objects may seemingly offer themselves as good possible representatives of specific traditions, there is a marked tendency to decline works which are not distinguishable as absolutely authentic or especially fine examples of a particular object class.  In fact, many donated objects which are accepted by museums are subsequently de-accessioned and re-sold and do not remain within the collection proper.  An element of the problem in this regard is the difficulty in retroactively identifying and authenticating works.  The time and cost of analyzing, testing and documenting -- as well as the pronounced resistance to the introduction of new objects into the canonical class -- are among the factors which exist here. 
       
      If you seek to gain insight into a specific object, it is a good idea to engage in your own direct comparison of that work with other related works in order to cultivate your eye for the perception of a range of analytic factors as well as to develop a sense of which galleries and specialists have a specific appreciation for and insight into the type of object you are presenting.  What seems obviously authentic and fine in the early stages of collecting can and should necessarily give way to an extended (eternal?) period of uncertainty and questioning.  Painful as it may be, that which appeared perfect in the drunken ecstasy of a first glimpse at night may reveal its flaws only in the next day's light;  to further extend my dalliance with cliche: When the honeymoon is over, one's betrothed may appear far less perfect than one had perceived when love was new!  Then begins the process of recognizing the "object" in the full light of truth, learning to understand what it (he/she) is and/or is not and determining how to proceed in relation to that "object" or "other" in light of newly recognized characteristics.
       
      ...but before I proceed to mire this discussion in trite metaphors, perhaps the purposes of this message are better served by reliance upon some insights I recently read and which rang true to me then and seem applicable to this discussion.  Included in the catalogue which accompanied the 1997 exhibition of "Nigerian Art from the Collection of Judith and Leonard Kahan" at the African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers is an interview by Donna Page of the latter collector, the esteemed gallerist Leonard Kahan.  In response to a question posed regarding the acquisition of new works for a collection arises an insight that I think is crucial (and one with which I personally still struggle).  Mr. Kahan states:  "Sometime in my 35 years of experience, I began to realize that the difference between collecting and accumulating was in the flexibility of collectors not to hold everything they had acquired -- not to be too emotionally committed to past choices.  Movement along the collecting road is not made by simply adding to the collection but by changing concepts, developing new ideas, and dropping the old...Collecting is a bit like creating art-one's eye forms a new body of information...Change is growth."  (p. 17)
       
      I think that this advice is sagacious and underlines an important realization with which each of us collecting or studying African art must grapple, particularly those who do so with a commercial interest:   If one wishes to engage with the community which handles, considers, buys and sells these works, one must open one's self to the knowledge upon which judgments are based in this community (or these communities, I should say, as these communities are diverse).  In so doing, we must open ourselves to diverse and changing perspectives.  Among these changes in perspective that arise are those which force us to accept that we cannot remain "emotionally committed to past choices" or assumptions.   As we gain more knowledge, our eyes and our minds must recognize that new knowledge instills new perceptions and leads us ultimately to accept that what we once saw as the truth of a piece is as susceptible to change as are we in considering that piece.  There is always more to know...
       
      The dynamic nature of this process informs and transforms our abilities and inclinations in the analysis and valuations of objects with which we are involved.  In specific response to Ms. Page's query in the same interview about the determination of "the monetary value of a piece", Mr. Kahan continues (and perhaps here I am finally providing an answer to the question initially raised):  "When we evaluate, we summon together all of our criteria.  We may call that instinct, or experience.  It is, in fact, a series of factors that are uppermost in the mind.  I can enumerate some of the qualities that have helped me in appraising a piece.  They include authenticity, aesthetics (formal relationships, craftsmanship), age, surface (patination, erosion, color), rarity, provenance and individuality.  Only then can market values be taken into account.  No one factor alone can be used in evaluating a piece." (p. 20)
       
      In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that whereas in this particular discussion, I am seeking to respond to the particular question raised regarding the sometimes problematic interface between the collector and the commercial auction house.  As such, there is an essential emphasis upon factors of market analysis, evaluation, politics, etc.  However, I do also wish to indicate that there are -- of course -- many levels on which to consider both the aesthetics and value of African cultural objects.  Each of us may/must prioritize differently the characteristics which inform our assessments of beauty, significance and/or value -- age, patina, rarity, provenance, symbolism, etc.  I think it is always valuable in this regard to remember that none of us are beholden to the systems of values applied by others and do indeed encourage the consideration of each work in relation to the places and peoples from which the objects originate and to recall that meanings, significance and values do precede and persist beyond the commercial realms which shape this current consideration.  An exploration undertaken to recognize or understand more fully the identity and value of an object often leads to revelations that displace the assumptions with which we have approached that work and help to uncover and/or to create unexpected insights about realities past and/or present, distant from and/or near to the places of the object's creation and our own point of contact therewith.
       
      Lee


    • Ed Jones
      Lee. ... I echo Ron s sentiments. Outstanding dissertation (as usual). Thank You, Ed __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 9, 2006
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        Lee.
         
        ... I echo Ron's sentiments.  Outstanding dissertation (as usual).
         
        Thank You,
        Ed

        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
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      • John Monroe
        As usual, Lee s produced some very insightful and important observations. I ve always been intrigued by the way in which a particular dealer s name can serve
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 9, 2006
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          As usual, Lee's produced some very insightful and important observations.

          I've always been intrigued by the way in which a particular dealer's name can
          serve as a kind of "artist's signature" for African objects offered at major
          auction houses -- like "Picasso," the name functions not just as a way of
          creating scarcity, but also as a kind of guarantor of esthetic value. It's
          almost as if Ratton's, Guillaume's or Simpson's "eye" created the object in
          the first place: in this respect, high-end African sculptures bear a strange
          resemblance to Duchamp's ready-mades. If it hadn't been for Duchamp's
          decision to single it out, we all probably would have been blind to the formal
          beauty of the bottle drying-rack (see "Bottle Rack," his first "pure"
          readymade). Admittedly, an African sculpture is not a mass-produced
          industrial item, but nevertheless in both cases the object derives some of its
          meaning and esthetic presence from the gap between the circumstances of its
          original creation and its "discovery" by a person with a particularly
          distinguished "eye."

          On a related note, Lee's remarks make me think of a striking development in
          the field of African art history. Increasingly, at least in
          the United States, the practices of object-selection used by auction houses
          are at odds with the ones used by the curators and professors who study,
          acquire and display African art in a museum or university context. What
          auction houses see as the normal rules of their business, academics
          increasingly see as a vestige of an outmoded, indeed repugnant imperialistic
          world-view. I don't know of any other field of art history where the split
          between academia and commerce is so pronounced.

          The radical disjunction between articles and advertisements in the latest
          issue of African Arts serves to hammer this point home. It will be intriguing
          to see how long this state of affairs can last. It seems inevitable to me
          that the tensions will eventually escalate to a breaking point, though I am
          not sure how the break will occur -- with money on one side and institutional
          authority on the other, you have a powerful set of adversaries.

          John Monroe
        • Paul De Lucco
          As Lee writes in his short essay on selling African art there are many factors beyond authenticity that inform auction houses and other such institutions with
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 11, 2006
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            As Lee writes in his short essay on selling African art there are many factors beyond authenticity that inform auction houses and other such institutions with regard to the value of pieces.  Unfortunately, the value of a piece may have more to do with provenance than with authenticity.

             

            This situation is not unique to tribal art and is due to the serious difficulty even experts encounter in authenticating pieces.  John Monroe comments that the dealer’s name serves as a kind of “signature” for African art offered at auction.  In other words, the name of a reputable dealer serves as a guarantee that the object is “real”.

             

            Say a man finds a Picasso in a junk shop, buys it, takes it home, displays it, and then tries to sell it through Sotheby’s.  He will get turned down flat.  The painting may be authentic but it has no provenance to reassure a high-end buyer.

             

            Good provenance may mean an object comes from a respected dealer.  It may also mean the object comes from the collection of a celebrity, or that of a well-to-do society person who has mixed in the milieu of collectors. 

             

            Next week, Sotheby’s will offer at auction in Paris 57 pieces from the collection of John and Nicole Ditenfass.  John Ditenfass, a socially prominent psychiatrist, has been collecting African art for 40 years and is well known to prominent galleries and collectors.

             

            David Norden, who owns an African art gallery in Antwerp , comments on his website:

             

            Are these 40 very high estimated pieces to be considered as the Dintenfass collection when everyone knows that in fact is a collection with 1500 pieces?  Some of you interested in this nice but small Luba at 150.000?

             

            It is interesting to see that even professionals such as Norden can be taken aback by auction house strategies.  The point is, Dintenfass  has become a brand.  “Branding” is where much of an object’s value comes from in a value chain.  Coca-Cola, Toyota , Steuben Glass, etc, Dintenfass!

             

            If you examine the pieces on the Sotheby’s website, there certainly are surprises in the size of the pre-sale estimates.  (I limit my observations to some of the 23 pieces of Congolese origin because that is my area of expertise.)

             

            Lot 39, Lengola Figure,15.5cm, Est : 6,000 – 9,000 Eur.  Although it is nice to see an object from a Congolese culture that has not generally been highlighted in Sotheby’s catalogues in the past (with the notable exception of the Lengola Ubanga Nyami, Lot #108 in the Britt Family Collection auctioned in November 2005), this piece is quite small and unremarkable for the estimated price of approx. $9,000 - $12,000.

             

             Lengola, Lot 39

             

            Nor, is there anything extraordinary about the Luba piece ( Lot 41, 20cm, Est:  7,000 -10,000 Eur).  I do not think this piece is Luba.  The arms, shoulders, and upper torso are reminiscent more of the pre-Bembe groups but I would tentatively assign the piece to one of the groups neighboring the Luba in the area around Nyunzu in the north Katanga , perhaps Bakalanga.  The art is not particularly strong and the piece does not appear to be particularly old.  The pre-auction estimate of approx. $9,500 to $13,500 seems way too high.

             

             

             Luba, Lot 41

             

            Another Luba piece, very striking in its apparent age and authenticity ( Lot 44, 27cm, Est: 150,000 – 180,000 Eur) raises interesting issues related to aesthetics.  The piece is an old Luba power object, an object that was often carved in the past by the owner/practitioner and not by a professional sculptor working inside the court.

             

              Luba, Lot 44

             

            It certainly is a striking piece and I believe it is authentic but I just do not like it very much.  I would expect to acquire something rather extraordinary for $200,000 - $240,000 and I simply do not find this piece, evidently of matchless provenance, to be artistically extraordinary.  According to Sotheby’s, it was collected in 1932 and belonged to the Ernst and Ruth Anspach collection in the 1960’s – another impressive brand.   The catalogue goes on to describe the piece as having a superbe monumentalité, but I do not see it - and wonder if a 10” figure can ever be described as monumental.

             

            The Luba stool ( Lot 51, 45cm, Est:  150,000 – 200,000 Eur), on the other hand, is certainly an aesthetically pleasing piece.  It is unlike any other Luba stool I have ever seen.  Extraordinary.  According to the Sotheby’s catalogue, the piece is discussed by Neyt (1993 : 89-90) in his book on the Luba in which he attributes it to one “atelier Samba” in the north of Luba territory near the town of Kasongo .  It seems to have no strong provenance, except for Helène et Philippe Leloup, which is a good brand.  Whether it is a good buy for a quarter of a million dollars, I cannot say.  It is, after all, a masterpiece of Luba art for sale in a world where a Picasso is worth more than $10 million.

             

             

              Luba, Lot 51

             

             

             

            But, take a look at the Mangbetu chaise-longue (Lot25, Est:  35,000 – 50,000 Eur).  The absurd description in the Sotheby’s catalogue describes the exceptional raffia weaving.  Well, I have two chaises-longues of exactly the same style on my front terrace.  I paid $10.00 for the two of them.  They are found all over Central Africa .  Anyone who thinks the 4 stylized Mangbetu heads add $50,000 to the value of this very unremarkable chair is welcome to contact me for a real deal, (although my night watchman will not want to give his up.)

             

             Mangbetu, Lot 25

             

             

            I have drifted off the subject of auctions and values and brands.  But, before I leave the Dintenfass Collection, I would like to mention the beautiful Manyanga Fly Whisk ( Lot 54, 23cm, Est:  20,000 – 30,000 Eur).  Dr. Dintenfass is to be congratulated for venturing to collect such an object from an almost unknown Kuba subgroup.  The good Doctor may be trying to make a quick killing in this Paris sale, but as a collector, he has a pretty good eye.

             

             

             Manyanga, Lot 54

             

            In conclusion, if you are not in high society and wish to sell your collection, what do you do?  You have to carry out research and create a file on each of your pieces, documenting similar pieces from other collections.  Visit your local libraries, museums, and websites.  Try to create a local interest in your collection.  Offer to lend pieces for exhibitions.  It will take time but, little by little, you can create your own brand and buzz.  If the pieces are good enough to pass muster with larger audiences, they will become desirable to an auction house like Sotheby’s or to a big city gallery.

             

            But, this can take a lot of time and at the end you may find yourself with a collection of pieces no one else is interested in.  That’s why you should only buy pieces you like.  So you can enjoy them for a lifetime.

             

             

          • Paul De Lucco
            Greetings: I note that for some reason the Lengola thumbnail photo did not reproduce below. It should be: Lengola, Lot 39: Regards, Paul ... From: Paul De
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 12, 2006
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              Greetings:
               
              I note that for some reason the Lengola thumbnail photo did not reproduce below.  It should be:
               
              Lengola, Lot 39:
               
               
              Regards,
               
              Paul
               
               
               
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2006 9:57 PM
              Subject: Re: [African_Arts] Art Authenticity

              As Lee writes in his short essay on selling African art there are many factors beyond authenticity that inform auction houses and other such institutions with regard to the value of pieces.  Unfortunately, the value of a piece may have more to do with provenance than with authenticity.

               

              This situation is not unique to tribal art and is due to the serious difficulty even experts encounter in authenticating pieces.  John Monroe comments that the dealer’s name serves as a kind of “signature” for African art offered at auction.  In other words, the name of a reputable dealer serves as a guarantee that the object is “real”.

               

              Say a man finds a Picasso in a junk shop, buys it, takes it home, displays it, and then tries to sell it through Sotheby’s.  He will get turned down flat.  The painting may be authentic but it has no provenance to reassure a high-end buyer.

               

              Good provenance may mean an object comes from a respected dealer.  It may also mean the object comes from the collection of a celebrity, or that of a well-to-do society person who has mixed in the milieu of collectors. 

               

              Next week, Sotheby’s will offer at auction in Paris 57 pieces from the collection of John and Nicole Ditenfass.  John Ditenfass, a socially prominent psychiatrist, has been collecting African art for 40 years and is well known to prominent galleries and collectors.

               

              David Norden, who owns an African art gallery in Antwerp , comments on his website:

               

              Are these 40 very high estimated pieces to be considered as the Dintenfass collection when everyone knows that in fact is a collection with 1500 pieces?  Some of you interested in this nice but small Luba at 150.000?

               

              It is interesting to see that even professionals such as Norden can be taken aback by auction house strategies.  The point is, Dintenfass  has become a brand.  “Branding” is where much of an object’s value comes from in a value chain.  Coca-Cola, Toyota , Steuben Glass, etc, Dintenfass!

               

              If you examine the pieces on the Sotheby’s website, there certainly are surprises in the size of the pre-sale estimates.  (I limit my observations to some of the 23 pieces of Congolese origin because that is my area of expertise.)

               

              Lot 39, Lengola Figure,15.5cm, Est : 6,000 – 9,000 Eur.  Although it is nice to see an object from a Congolese culture that has not generally been highlighted in Sotheby’s catalogues in the past (with the notable exception of the Lengola Ubanga Nyami, Lot #108 in the Britt Family Collection auctioned in November 2005), this piece is quite small and unremarkable for the estimated price of approx. $9,000 - $12,000.

               

               Lengola, Lot 39

               

              Nor, is there anything extraordinary about the Luba piece ( Lot 41, 20cm, Est:  7,000 -10,000 Eur).  I do not think this piece is Luba.  The arms, shoulders, and upper torso are reminiscent more of the pre-Bembe groups but I would tentatively assign the piece to one of the groups neighboring the Luba in the area around Nyunzu in the north Katanga , perhaps Bakalanga.  The art is not particularly strong and the piece does not appear to be particularly old.  The pre-auction estimate of approx. $9,500 to $13,500 seems way too high.

               

               

               Luba, Lot 41

               

              Another Luba piece, very striking in its apparent age and authenticity ( Lot 44, 27cm, Est: 150,000 – 180,000 Eur) raises interesting issues related to aesthetics.  The piece is an old Luba power object, an object that was often carved in the past by the owner/practitioner and not by a professional sculptor working inside the court.

               

                Luba, Lot 44

               

              It certainly is a striking piece and I believe it is authentic but I just do not like it very much.  I would expect to acquire something rather extraordinary for $200,000 - $240,000 and I simply do not find this piece, evidently of matchless provenance, to be artistically extraordinary.  According to Sotheby’s, it was collected in 1932 and belonged to the Ernst and Ruth Anspach collection in the 1960’s – another impressive brand.   The catalogue goes on to describe the piece as having a superbe monumentalité, but I do not see it - and wonder if a 10” figure can ever be described as monumental.

               

              The Luba stool ( Lot 51, 45cm, Est:  150,000 – 200,000 Eur), on the other hand, is certainly an aesthetically pleasing piece.  It is unlike any other Luba stool I have ever seen.  Extraordinary.  According to the Sotheby’s catalogue, the piece is discussed by Neyt (1993 : 89-90) in his book on the Luba in which he attributes it to one “atelier Samba” in the north of Luba territory near the town of Kasongo .  It seems to have no strong provenance, except for Helène et Philippe Leloup, which is a good brand.  Whether it is a good buy for a quarter of a million dollars, I cannot say.  It is, after all, a masterpiece of Luba art for sale in a world where a Picasso is worth more than $10 million.

               

               

                Luba, Lot 51

               

               

               

              But, take a look at the Mangbetu chaise-longue (Lot25, Est:  35,000 – 50,000 Eur).  The absurd description in the Sotheby’s catalogue describes the exceptional raffia weaving.  Well, I have two chaises-longues of exactly the same style on my front terrace.  I paid $10.00 for the two of them.  They are found all over Central Africa .  Anyone who thinks the 4 stylized Mangbetu heads add $50,000 to the value of this very unremarkable chair is welcome to contact me for a real deal, (although my night watchman will not want to give his up.)

               

               Mangbetu, Lot 25

               

               

              I have drifted off the subject of auctions and values and brands.  But, before I leave the Dintenfass Collection, I would like to mention the beautiful Manyanga Fly Whisk ( Lot 54, 23cm, Est:  20,000 – 30,000 Eur).  Dr. Dintenfass is to be congratulated for venturing to collect such an object from an almost unknown Kuba subgroup.  The good Doctor may be trying to make a quick killing in this Paris sale, but as a collector, he has a pretty good eye.

               

               

               Manyanga, Lot 54

               

              In conclusion, if you are not in high society and wish to sell your collection, what do you do?  You have to carry out research and create a file on each of your pieces, documenting similar pieces from other collections.  Visit your local libraries, museums, and websites.  Try to create a local interest in your collection.  Offer to lend pieces for exhibitions.  It will take time but, little by little, you can create your own brand and buzz.  If the pieces are good enough to pass muster with larger audiences, they will become desirable to an auction house like Sotheby’s or to a big city gallery.

               

              But, this can take a lot of time and at the end you may find yourself with a collection of pieces no one else is interested in.  That’s why you should only buy pieces you like.  So you can enjoy them for a lifetime.

               

               

            • leerubinstein
              John: My apologies for taking so long to reply to your previous message, a delay precipitated by a technical problem that kept me off-line for the better
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 15, 2006
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                John:

                My apologies for taking so long to reply to your previous message, a
                delay precipitated by a technical problem that kept me off-line for
                the "better" part of six days. Nonetheless, I would be very interested
                to hear more of your thoughts about the current disjunction you observe
                between the academic and commercial treatments of African works as
                indicated in your previous posting if and when you are able and
                inclined to provide more detail. Your observation provides an
                excellent example to consider regarding the diverse perspectives that
                can be brought to bear upon the consideration, classification and
                presentation of "meaningful," "significant" and "important" African
                works.

                Forthcoming...some detailed analysis of the June 23 offerings via
                Sotheby's apropos of our earlier discussion.

                Lee
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