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Re: REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

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  • bigmuffty
    Hello, to my opinion they are not authentic.
    Message 1 of 23 , Oct 10, 2009
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      Hello, to my opinion they are not authentic.

      --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Jaime Iglesias Rey <cihongopwo@...> wrote:
      >
      > Please i need an expert opinion about authenticity of this items. Thanks.
      >
    • michael trupp
      I am by no way an expert but I have studied Fang art for some time now and I believe these Fang are  more recent carvings. .. ... From: Jaime Iglesias Rey
      Message 2 of 23 , Oct 10, 2009
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        I am by no way an expert but I have studied Fang art for some time now and I believe these Fang are  more recent carvings.
        .
        --- On Fri, 10/9/09, Jaime Iglesias Rey <cihongopwo@...> wrote:

        From: Jaime Iglesias Rey <cihongopwo@...>
        Subject: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ?? [3 Attachments]
        To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, October 9, 2009, 11:43 AM

         
        Please i need an expert opinion about authenticity of this items. Thanks.


      • lokaart@aol.com
        I really hate these sort of queries, because I think that it is extremely difficult to judge the authenticity/age of a piece of African art only from
        Message 3 of 23 , Oct 10, 2009
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          I really hate these sort of queries, because I think that it is extremely difficult to judge the authenticity/age of a piece of African art only from photographs. And then there is the question of what we mean by words such as "genuine", "authentic", "fake" etc. To me, these photographs show objects that do not look "authentic". But, somebody else, using a different set of criteria, might give a totally different answer. I know that the question of what exactly defines a "fake" has been debated here before ( and I am sure that the question will not go away) but, as so many people seem to request answers to the question "Is this a genuine piece" perhaps we need to re-examine the question again and, in the process, come up with some agreed terms. (Or am I being too hopeful?) Perhaps the same could be said about the recent question of the "Yaka slit drum", a piece that seemed, to me, to be a very modern work, and one far removed from some of the older slit drums.
           
          Mike
        • John Monroe
          ... This is a useful observation, but I have to say I disagree. However difficult the category may be to define, and however blurry it is at its edges, we
          Message 4 of 23 , Oct 10, 2009
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            Mike wrote:

            > I really hate these sort of queries, because I think that it is extremely
            > difficult to judge the authenticity/age of a piece of African art only from
            > photographs. And then there is the question of what we mean by words such
            > as "genuine", "authentic", "fake" etc. To me, these photographs show objects
            > that do not look "authentic". But, somebody else, using a different set of
            > criteria, might give a totally different answer.

            This is a useful observation, but I have to say I disagree. However difficult
            the category may be to define, and however blurry it is at its edges, we members
            of the social community of "traditional African sculpture connoisseurs"
            nevertheless share a fairly stable sense of what an "authentic" object looks
            like. This is particularly true with objects that have been scrutinized as
            extensively as Fang reliquaries and Punu masks, both of which were among the
            very first types of African object to be collected in Europe as "art," and have
            therefore had a long time to live in our eyes, esthetically speaking.

            So despite my awareness of the radical contingency of our idea of "authenticity"
            in this field, I can nevertheless say with a reasonable amount of confidence
            that on the basis of the photos, looking at purely formal characteristics, these
            objects do not strike me as "authentic." The Punu mask, in my opinion, is a
            particularly clear-cut case. "Authentic" Punu masks tend to have more
            individuality and expressivity in the rendering of the face, and they have very
            different patinas than this one, which appears to have been waxed and buffed.

            The Fang pieces are formally less dramatically "out of bounds," but still
            visibly "not right." The hands are done too schematically, especially on the
            one holding the baton, which seems to have been modeled after a famous canonical
            example; the stacking of volumes here also doesn't work in the same way as it
            does in examples widely acknowledged as "authentic" (though with these a side
            view would help a lot); and the patinas don't have the right look.

            Note that all the posters who have commented so far agree on these points. This
            agreement is, in my opinion, very important to take seriously, because it has a
            lot to tell us about the way our idea of "authenticity" in this field works.
            "Authenticity" in "tribal art" is what Durkheim would call a "Social Fact."
            It's a construction that emerges from the interactions of a group, that takes on
            a life of its own, and that we therefore experience *not* as some sort of choice
            each of us is free to make in a purely individual manner (like whether we prefer
            broccoli over cauliflower), but as an internalized sense of what's "right" (like
            associating a capacity to forgive others with virtue). Just because we
            experience "authenticity" in this way, though, does not mean that it's some sort
            of immutable law of nature that just sort of popped into being -- as with all
            social facts, it's more like a stalactite in a cave, a product of the slow
            build-up of one judgment after another, one opinion after another, one text
            after another, one experience after another, which in the case of this category
            has been going on for about a century.

            So perhaps the way to ask the question here would be: do these pieces meet the
            historically-contingent standards of "authenticity" that connoisseurs, dealers
            and museum professionals currently accept in this particular field? The answer
            would be "no" -- which is an important thing for any potential owner of these
            objects to know, given the large financial stakes that could potentially be
            involved.

            John Monroe
          • lokaart@aol.com
            John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points
            Message 5 of 23 , Oct 11, 2009
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              John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
               
              Mike
               
               
            • Ed Jones
              Mike wrote ... Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing
              Message 6 of 23 , Oct 11, 2009
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                Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".

                 

                How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 

                "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 

                 

                In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.

                 
                John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                  
                Ed
                 


                From: "lokaart@..." <lokaart@...>
                To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                 

                John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                 
                Mike
                 
                 

              • spric1h
                Hi Ed I enjoyed reading your post - it is thoughtful, insightful, and educational. One question, though. Near the end, you wrote, ... narcissism and
                Message 7 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                  Hi Ed

                  I enjoyed reading your post - it is thoughtful, insightful, and educational. One question, though. Near the end, you wrote, "... narcissism and capitalism has their reign ..."

                  Narcissism and its interference with collector education is obvious enough to anyone who reads this forum (or any other collector-oriented forum). But capitalism as an enemy of collectors? Without it, how could there even be collectors or museum collections? Nobody can deny that there are abusers of the system. But anyone who has participated in the world of collecting, even in Subsaharan Africa, would have been unable to do so unless some capitalist enabled him to do so.

                  Regards

                  Steve Price


                  --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, Ed Jones <bucit@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                  >  
                  > How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                  > "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                  >  
                  > In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                  > John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                  >   
                  > Ed
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: "lokaart@..." <lokaart@...>
                  > To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                  > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                  >
                  >  
                  > John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of
                  > pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at
                  > just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                  >
                  > Mike
                  >
                • Ann Porteus
                  Ed Thank you, All that you say is as is - life. If I remember this line follows the question is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine? Think about
                  Message 8 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                    Ed Thank you,
                    All that you say is as is - life.

                    If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                    Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                    What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                    No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                    I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                    There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                    Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                    There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                    As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                    I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                    I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                    Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                    Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                    As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                    Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                    Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                    I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                    There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                    There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                    I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                    They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                    Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                    So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                    Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                    We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                    I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                    I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                    I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                    ann

                    On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                    Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".

                     

                    How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 

                    "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 

                     

                    In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.

                     
                    John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                      
                    Ed
                     


                    From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                    To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                    Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                    Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                     

                    John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                     
                    Mike
                     
                     



                  • Aboriginals%3A%20Art%20of%20the%20First%2
                    I am troubled whenever this discussion gets going. To differentiate between authentic (created for tribal use and so used before finding its way to market)
                    Message 9 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                      I am troubled whenever this discussion gets going.

                      To differentiate between "authentic" (created for tribal use and so used before finding its way to market) and "fakes" (items created in the appearance of an authentic item but never intended for tribal use, just for market sale) is one thing and it seems totally acceptable to me.

                      On the other hand, to describe pieces of uncertain authenticity - even if they are not presented as "authentic" - but which may be aesthetically attractive, satisfying to their owners and accurate representations of style as "crap", seems over the top to me.

                      It is presumptuous, insulting and not helpful in defining what is good, what is not and where on a scale of quality/value a piece may sit.

                      Not everyone can afford to collect pieces of BRUNEAF quality and authenticity. Yet, they may enjoy the aesthetics of pieces which are not "classically authentic". They surely do not think of them as "crap" and they do not pretend that they are the equal 200-year-old Benin bronzes.

                      The problem becomes exacerbated for me when we are in the midst, as this listserv is, of self-appointed experts, many of whom collect for themselves, have great pride and proprietary feeling about their collections and  who benefit by bashing pieces not in their collections. (Present company excepted: I am not slamming anyone commenting here.)

                      I just find the sneering tone of many of the critical comments to be unbecoming, unhelpful and uncivil. We should criticize if we can add to the general knowledge and appreciation in the field. Can't we, however, restrict our comments to matters of substance and avoid disparaging lanquage?

                      Thank you for considering this concern.

                      William Waites


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: lokaart@...
                      To: "African Arts" <African_Arts@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 10:34:07 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
                      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                       

                      John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                       
                      Mike
                       
                       
                    • Ed Jones
                      Hi Steve, That statement is not intended to indicate that capitalism is an enemy of collectors. In fact, I do not believe that it is.  It depends on how
                      Message 10 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                        Hi Steve,
                        That statement is not intended to indicate that "capitalism" is an enemy of collectors. In fact, I do not believe that it is.  It depends on "how" things are used... Of sort, the market is the market, a place for free trade, enterprise and consumer confidence.  However, when you couple greed and fastidious deception, anti-trust and monopolies (with narcissism) what do you get?  One things is certain, "consumer beware".
                         
                        It is not difficult to see.  There can be good and bad sides to everything.
                         
                        Thanks, 
                        Ed


                        From: spric1h <sprice@...>
                        To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Mon, October 12, 2009 2:45:36 AM
                        Subject: [African_Arts] Re: REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                         

                        Hi Ed

                        I enjoyed reading your post - it is thoughtful, insightful, and educational. One question, though. Near the end, you wrote, "... narcissism and capitalism has their reign ..."

                        Narcissism and its interference with collector education is obvious enough to anyone who reads this forum (or any other collector-oriented forum). But capitalism as an enemy of collectors? Without it, how could there even be collectors or museum collections? Nobody can deny that there are abusers of the system. But anyone who has participated in the world of collecting, even in Subsaharan Africa, would have been unable to do so unless some capitalist enabled him to do so.

                        Regards

                        Steve Price

                        --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Ed Jones <bucit@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement  to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                        >  
                        > How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                        > "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                        >  
                        > In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As  one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                        > John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.   Meanwhile,  the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                        >   
                        > Ed
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ____________ _________ _________ __
                        > From: "lokaart@... " <lokaart@... >
                        > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                        > Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                        > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                        >
                        >  
                        > John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of
                        > pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at
                        > just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement  to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                        >
                        > Mike
                        >


                      • zawadi
                        Hi Everyone,   I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a
                        Message 11 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                          Hi Everyone,
                           
                          I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a little Patina!!
                          Lee has kindly put the following link in for me..
                           
                           
                          Wendy
                           
                           

                          --- On Mon, 10/12/09, Ann Porteus <ann@...> wrote:

                          From: Ann Porteus <ann@...>
                          Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                          To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 6:11 AM

                           
                          Ed Thank you,
                          All that you say is as is - life.

                          If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                          Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                          What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                          No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                          I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                          There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                          Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                          There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                          As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                          I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                          I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                          Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                          Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                          As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                          Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                          Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                          I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                          There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                          There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                          I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                          They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                          Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                          So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                          Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                          We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                          I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                          I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                          I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                          ann

                          On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                          Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                           
                          How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                          "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                           
                          In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                           
                          John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                            
                          Ed
                           


                          From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                          To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                          Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                          Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                           

                          John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                           
                          Mike
                           
                           



                        • afriqueetc@aol.com
                          Wendy, BRAVO! BRILLIANT RESPONSE TO THE THOUSAND WORDS PRESENTED ON THIS TOPIC! George In a message dated 10/13/2009 12:14:45 A.M. Tokyo Standard Time,
                          Message 12 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                            Wendy,
                            BRAVO!  BRILLIANT RESPONSE TO THE THOUSAND WORDS PRESENTED ON THIS TOPIC!
                            George
                             
                             
                            In a message dated 10/13/2009 12:14:45 A.M. Tokyo Standard Time, zawadi4me@... writes:
                             


                          • Aaron Weston
                            That s a common sight in most markets in Africa, what s your point? ... From: zawadi Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX
                            Message 13 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                            • Hi Everyone,
                               
                              I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a little Patina!!
                              Lee has kindly put the following link in for me..
                               
                               
                              Wendy
                               
                               

                              --- On Mon, 10/12/09, Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au> wrote:

                              From: Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au>
                              Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                              To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                              Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 6:11 AM

                               
                              Ed Thank you,
                              All that you say is as is - life.

                              If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                              Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                              What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                              No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                              I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                              There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                              Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                              There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                              As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                              I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                              I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                              Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                              Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                              As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                              Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                              Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                              I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                              There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                              There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                              I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                              They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                              Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                              So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                              Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                              We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                              I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                              I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                              I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                              ann

                              On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                              Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                               
                              How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                              "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 

                               
                              In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                               
                              John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                
                              Ed
                               


                              From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                              To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                              Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                              Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                               

                              John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                               
                              Mike
                               
                               


                              That's a common sight in most markets in Africa, what's your point?

                              --- On Mon, 10/12/09, zawadi <zawadi4me@...> wrote:

                              From: zawadi <zawadi4me@...>
                              Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                              To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 10:08 AM

                               

                              Hi Everyone,
                               
                              I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a little Patina!!
                              Lee has kindly put the following link in for me..
                               
                               
                              Wendy
                               
                               

                              --- On Mon, 10/12/09, Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au> wrote:

                              From: Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au>
                              Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                              To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                              Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 6:11 AM

                               
                              Ed Thank you,
                              All that you say is as is - life.

                              If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                              Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                              What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                              No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                              I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                              There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                              Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                              There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                              As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                              I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                              I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                              Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                              Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                              As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                              Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                              Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                              I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                              There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                              There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                              I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                              They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                              Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                              So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                              Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                              We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                              I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                              I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                              I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                              ann

                              On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                              Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                               
                              How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                              "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                               
                              In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                               
                              John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                
                              Ed
                               


                              From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                              To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                              Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                              Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                               

                              John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                               
                              Mike
                               
                               



                            • John Monroe
                              ... Let me start, Mike, by saying I should have been clearer. My intention was not to disagree with everything you said in your initial post, just the
                              Message 14 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                                Mike wrote:

                                > John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read
                                > what he writes, I must say that I agree with him!

                                Let me start, Mike, by saying I should have been clearer. My intention was not
                                to disagree with everything you said in your initial post, just the following
                                statement: "somebody else, using a different set of criteria, might give a
                                totally different answer [about the authenticity of these objects]." In fact, I
                                think the overall drift of what you said initially is very much correct, except
                                that I actually quite enjoy the "is it authentic" posts, especially when the
                                people replying *explain* why they have reached their (usually negative)
                                determinations. When I was starting out as a collector in this field, I found
                                these explanations extremely useful.

                                The thing I'd question is whether a judgment of "authenticity" in this case is
                                as potentially relative as you suggested. I think the criteria are actually
                                pretty stable, at least for ultra-canonical objects like Fang reliquary figures
                                and Punu masks. That stability is what allows art museums, high-stakes auctions
                                and BRUNEAF-level dealers to function. Without it, "tribal" objects wouldn't
                                have the esthetic power in our eyes that they do, and hence would not be
                                perceptible or marketable as works of "high art." That they are perceptible and
                                marketable in this way is an ambivalent thing, with good and bad sides...but
                                that's for another discussion!

                                John Monroe
                              • Zainabu Berete
                                Hello Everyone,   I ve been a member of this forum a long time but I ve never been prompted to respond to any on the postings until now. Ann Porteus - thank
                                Message 15 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                                  Hello Everyone,
                                   
                                  I've been a member of this forum a long time but I've never been prompted to respond to any on the postings until now. Ann Porteus - thank you for your response! Who are any of us to say what is fake or not? The "real" pieces are either no longer available and in museums or way out of the price range of the average person. I've been a collector for quite a few years now and I buy what is pleasing to my eye. I have the books and the reference catalogs so I know how to look for a piece that it "well done," whether it was carved last year or many years ago. 

                                   

                                  Saying that a piece is "fake" is like saying that your dress or your suit is fake because it was not designed or sewn by a major clothes designer. Is it a well made piece, is the price something you can live with and are you pleased with your purchase would be a better question.


                                   
                                   



                                  From: zawadi <zawadi4me@...>
                                  To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Mon, October 12, 2009 10:08:35 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                   



                                • Ed Jones
                                  Hi Ann,   I think the examples you expressed about many of the realities young Africans face are not sensible for those that have NEVER experienced life
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                                    Hi Ann,
                                     
                                    I think the examples you expressed about many of the realities young Africans face are not sensible for those that have NEVER experienced life as they know it... Kinda like "unless one literally "walks in my shoes", then how could they truly know principle.  None-the-less, your examples are terrific and quite worthy of consideration.
                                     
                                    As you know, I have had the privilege to visit a few countries on the continent.  Each country yielded a different experience for me, but always left an "permanent mark" on my soul.  It has certainly caused me to constantly re-visit ideas of being a "black/dark" skinned American versus being a 'black/dark" skinned African... and as you know, it varies deeply from place-to-place among that vast land mass of 53 countries.
                                     
                                    Most of all, I sincerely appreciate your perspectives about the future of African objects.  Imagine, in the 1940-1960's Marvel comics had many common comics under copy-right production such as the "Green Lantern, Superman, Spiderman (or any of the super-hero series).  They were so common on the "capitalistic" markets... just a bit of pun Steve Price :)))
                                    Presently, some are now quite rare and valuable.  I am not saying that they were collected primarily for investment purposes.  I seriously doubt if much of anything starts out that way.  Just like the comics, the "arts" should be enjoyed first and fore-most.  We all build from there. 
                                     
                                    You do have it rather accurate. My main point is to say "Simply allow folks to be free with the "the crafts" of their choice.  What-ever Sotheby's (and the sort) is doing is of absolutely of no concern or guidence to propel me, and I rather resent being inaundated with thier propaganda... as if they are the new "corner-stone" standard which to be measured and judge African art by.  At least for the time being, I am not a fan.
                                    No matter if genuine, copy, rare or otherwise. We are cognitive creatures of habit (and are apt to learn and develop).  No person can teach someone if they are not apt to accept it.  However, should they seek or elicit responses on a public forum, be prepared to absorb and take what might come. Sometimes, the truth is not kind.  Hopefully, their motives are pure and they won't walk away with "dimly lit candle". 
                                     
                                    I used to drag my wife to the African art shops in the downtown Seattle area when we first married.  She found it all quite interesting, but focused much more on the music and beads.  I also still have my very first "African tribal mask".  I paid $39 for a horrible "market copy" of an N'Gere/Wobe "warrior" mask, but to me, it was like having a slice of heaven.  I really adored that mask (still do in an ignorant to development sentimental way) !!  My wife despised that mask.  She would occasionally tell me that she could not understand what I saw in it and would "beat me up" about having that ugly thing hanging on the wall.  Can you imagine Cemo being that expressive ?   We laugh about it now. 
                                     
                                    Yes, you are quire correct, we all must have a starting point.
                                     
                                    Thanks for sharing,
                                    Ed
                                      


                                    From: Ann Porteus <ann@...>
                                    To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Mon, October 12, 2009 3:11:42 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                     

                                    Ed Thank you,

                                    All that you say is as is - life.

                                    If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                                    Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                                    What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                                    No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                                    I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                                    There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                                    Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                                    There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                                    As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                                    I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                                    I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                                    Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                                    Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                                    As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                                    Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                                    Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                                    I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                                    There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                                    There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                                    I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                                    They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                                    Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                                    So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                                    Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                                    We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                                    I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                                    I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                                    I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                                    ann

                                    On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                                    Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".

                                     

                                    How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 

                                    "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 

                                     

                                    In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.

                                     
                                    John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                      
                                    Ed
                                     


                                    From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                                    To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                     

                                    John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                     
                                    Mike
                                     
                                     




                                  • mjtroi@msn.com
                                    I find this conversation very interesting. As with many here, I have no expertise in art or African art. I simply began collecting because I find many of
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                                      I find this conversation very interesting. As with many here, I have no expertise in art or African art. I simply began collecting because I find many of pieces pleasant to look at. However, statements to the effect that all "real" pieces are in museums or private collections seem to rule out the possibility of ever finding a genuine piece. It seems that from time to time someone "discovers" a new piece of art by a famous artist. This being the case, I wonder if the truly knowedgable people on the board don't give the general public too much credit. Is it not possible that there are hundreds or thousands of pieces that are languishing in garages or attics that someones grandfather or great grandfather purchased long ago? When these pieces are found they may be simply thrown out, or sold at an estate sale for a few dollars or a local auction house. How many people have purchased a piece (not just African) from a seller who thought the piece was from an entirely different culture?  I hope I havn't gone on too long but it would be interesting to hear stories about such discoveries. Michael. 
                                       

                                      To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                                      From: ubaniaz2003@...
                                      Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 12:23:38 -0700
                                      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                       
                                      Hello Everyone,
                                       
                                      I've been a member of this forum a long time but I've never been prompted to respond to any on the postings until now. Ann Porteus - thank you for your response! Who are any of us to say what is fake or not? The "real" pieces are either no longer available and in museums or way out of the price range of the average person. I've been a collector for quite a few years now and I buy what is pleasing to my eye. I have the books and the reference catalogs so I know how to look for a piece that it "well done," whether it was carved last year or many years ago. 

                                       
                                      Saying that a piece is "fake" is like saying that your dress or your suit is fake because it was not designed or sewn by a major clothes designer. Is it a well made piece, is the price something you can live with and are you pleased with your purchase would be a better question.


                                       
                                       



                                      From: zawadi <zawadi4me@yahoo. com>
                                      To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                      Sent: Mon, October 12, 2009 10:08:35 AM
                                      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                       
                                    • Hi Everyone,
                                       
                                      I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a little Patina!!
                                      Lee has kindly put the following link in for me..
                                       
                                       
                                      Wendy
                                       
                                       

                                      --- On Mon, 10/12/09, Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au> wrote:

                                      From: Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au>
                                      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                      To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                      Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 6:11 AM

                                       
                                      Ed Thank you,
                                      All that you say is as is - life.

                                      If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                                      Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                                      What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                                      No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                                      I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                                      There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                                      Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                                      There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                                      As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                                      I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                                      I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                                      Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                                      Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                                      As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                                      Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                                      Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                                      I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                                      There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                                      There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                                      I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                                      They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                                      Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                                      So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                                      Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                                      We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                                      I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                                      I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                                      I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                                      ann

                                      On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                                      Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                                       
                                      How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                                      "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                                       
                                      In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                                       
                                      John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                        
                                      Ed
                                       


                                      From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                                      To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                      Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                      Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                       

                                      John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                       
                                      Mike
                                       
                                       






                                    • Aaron Weston
                                      Major African Art Dealers or their proxies, still travel to Africa every year, I wonder why!   Felix ... From: mjtroi@msn.com Subject: RE:
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
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                                      • 0 Attachment
                                      • Hi Everyone,
                                         
                                        I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a little Patina!!
                                        Lee has kindly put the following link in for me..
                                         
                                         
                                        Wendy
                                         
                                         

                                        --- On Mon, 10/12/09, Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au> wrote:

                                        From: Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au>
                                        Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                        To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 6:11 AM

                                         
                                        Ed Thank you,
                                        All that you say is as is - life.

                                        If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                                        Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                                        What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                                        No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                                        I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                                        There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                                        Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                                        There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                                        As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                                        I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                                        I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                                        Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                                        Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                                        As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                                        Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                                        Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                                        I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                                        There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                                        There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                                        I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                                        They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                                        Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                                        So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                                        Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                                        We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                                        I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                                        I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                                        I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                                        ann

                                        On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                                        Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                                         
                                        How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                                        "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                                         
                                        In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                                         
                                        John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                          
                                        Ed
                                         


                                        From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                                        To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                        Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                         

                                        John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                         
                                        Mike
                                         
                                         


                                        Major African Art Dealers or their proxies, still travel to Africa every year, I wonder why!
                                         
                                        Felix

                                        --- On Mon, 10/12/09, mjtroi@... <mjtroi@...> wrote:

                                        From: mjtroi@... <mjtroi@...>
                                        Subject: RE: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                        To: african_arts@yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 3:03 PM

                                         
                                        I find this conversation very interesting. As with many here, I have no expertise in art or African art. I simply began collecting because I find many of pieces pleasant to look at. However, statements to the effect that all "real" pieces are in museums or private collections seem to rule out the possibility of ever finding a genuine piece. It seems that from time to time someone "discovers" a new piece of art by a famous artist. This being the case, I wonder if the truly knowedgable people on the board don't give the general public too much credit. Is it not possible that there are hundreds or thousands of pieces that are languishing in garages or attics that someones grandfather or great grandfather purchased long ago? When these pieces are found they may be simply thrown out, or sold at an estate sale for a few dollars or a local auction house. How many people have purchased a piece (not just African) from a seller who thought the piece was from an entirely different culture?  I hope I havn't gone on too long but it would be interesting to hear stories about such discoveries. Michael. 
                                         

                                        To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                        From: ubaniaz2003@ yahoo.com
                                        Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 12:23:38 -0700
                                        Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                         
                                        Hello Everyone,
                                         
                                        I've been a member of this forum a long time but I've never been prompted to respond to any on the postings until now. Ann Porteus - thank you for your response! Who are any of us to say what is fake or not? The "real" pieces are either no longer available and in museums or way out of the price range of the average person. I've been a collector for quite a few years now and I buy what is pleasing to my eye. I have the books and the reference catalogs so I know how to look for a piece that it "well done," whether it was carved last year or many years ago. 
                                         
                                        Saying that a piece is "fake" is like saying that your dress or your suit is fake because it was not designed or sewn by a major clothes designer. Is it a well made piece, is the price something you can live with and are you pleased with your purchase would be a better question.

                                         
                                         



                                        From: zawadi <zawadi4me@yahoo. com>
                                        To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Sent: Mon, October 12, 2009 10:08:35 AM
                                        Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                         

                                        Hi Everyone,
                                         
                                        I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a little Patina!!
                                        Lee has kindly put the following link in for me..
                                         
                                         
                                        Wendy
                                         
                                         

                                        --- On Mon, 10/12/09, Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au> wrote:

                                        From: Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au>
                                        Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                        To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 6:11 AM

                                         
                                        Ed Thank you,
                                        All that you say is as is - life.

                                        If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                                        Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                                        What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                                        No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                                        I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                                        There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                                        Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                                        There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                                        As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                                        I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                                        I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                                        Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                                        Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                                        As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                                        Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                                        Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                                        I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                                        There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                                        There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                                        I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                                        They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                                        Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                                        So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                                        Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                                        We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                                        I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                                        I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                                        I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                                        ann

                                        On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                                        Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                                         
                                        How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                                        "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                                         
                                        In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                                         
                                        John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                          
                                        Ed
                                         


                                        From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                                        To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                        Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                         

                                        John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                         
                                        Mike
                                         
                                         






                                      • M.E.F.
                                        For gain. M ... From: Aaron Weston Subject: RE: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ?? To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com Date:
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
                                        View Source
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          For gain. M

                                          --- On Tue, 10/13/09, Aaron Weston <impex7@...> wrote:

                                          From: Aaron Weston <impex7@...>
                                          Subject: RE: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                          To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                                          Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 1:28 AM

                                           
                                          Major African Art Dealers or their proxies, still travel to Africa every year, I wonder why!
                                           
                                          Felix

                                          --- On Mon, 10/12/09, mjtroi@... <mjtroi@...> wrote:

                                          From: mjtroi@... <mjtroi@...>
                                          Subject: RE: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                          To: african_arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                          Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 3:03 PM

                                           
                                          I find this conversation very interesting. As with many here, I have no expertise in art or African art. I simply began collecting because I find many of pieces pleasant to look at. However, statements to the effect that all "real" pieces are in museums or private collections seem to rule out the possibility of ever finding a genuine piece. It seems that from time to time someone "discovers" a new piece of art by a famous artist. This being the case, I wonder if the truly knowedgable people on the board don't give the general public too much credit. Is it not possible that there are hundreds or thousands of pieces that are languishing in garages or attics that someones grandfather or great grandfather purchased long ago? When these pieces are found they may be simply thrown out, or sold at an estate sale for a few dollars or a local auction house. How many people have purchased a piece (not just African) from a seller who thought the piece was from an entirely different culture?  I hope I havn't gone on too long but it would be interesting to hear stories about such discoveries. Michael. 
                                           

                                          To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                          From: ubaniaz2003@ yahoo.com
                                          Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 12:23:38 -0700
                                          Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                           
                                          Hello Everyone,
                                           
                                          I've been a member of this forum a long time but I've never been prompted to respond to any on the postings until now. Ann Porteus - thank you for your response! Who are any of us to say what is fake or not? The "real" pieces are either no longer available and in museums or way out of the price range of the average person. I've been a collector for quite a few years now and I buy what is pleasing to my eye. I have the books and the reference catalogs so I know how to look for a piece that it "well done," whether it was carved last year or many years ago. 
                                           
                                          Saying that a piece is "fake" is like saying that your dress or your suit is fake because it was not designed or sewn by a major clothes designer. Is it a well made piece, is the price something you can live with and are you pleased with your purchase would be a better question.

                                           
                                           



                                          From: zawadi <zawadi4me@yahoo. com>
                                          To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                          Sent: Mon, October 12, 2009 10:08:35 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                           

                                          Hi Everyone,
                                           
                                          I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a little Patina!!
                                          Lee has kindly put the following link in for me..
                                           
                                           
                                          Wendy
                                           
                                           

                                          --- On Mon, 10/12/09, Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au> wrote:

                                          From: Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au>
                                          Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                          To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                          Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 6:11 AM

                                           
                                          Ed Thank you,
                                          All that you say is as is - life.

                                          If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                                          Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                                          What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                                          No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                                          I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                                          There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                                          Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                                          There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                                          As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                                          I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                                          I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                                          Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                                          Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                                          As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                                          Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                                          Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                                          I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                                          There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                                          There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                                          I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                                          They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                                          Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                                          So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                                          Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                                          We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                                          I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                                          I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                                          I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                                          ann

                                          On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                                          Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                                           
                                          How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                                          "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                                           
                                          In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                                           
                                          John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                            
                                          Ed
                                           


                                          From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                                          To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                          Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                           

                                          John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                           
                                          Mike
                                           
                                           







                                        • M.E.F.
                                          Thanks Wendy, that brings home the fact that what you find on the markets in Africa these days is not quetsionable; it is clearly fake and, yes, there is such
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
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                                            Thanks Wendy, that brings home the fact that what you find on the markets in Africa these days is not quetsionable; it is clearly fake and, yes, there is such a thing as fake. No amount of beating about the bush can dim a sharp distinction which is ther. Margalit

                                            --- On Mon, 10/12/09, zawadi <zawadi4me@...> wrote:

                                            From: zawadi <zawadi4me@...>
                                            Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                            To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                                            Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 5:08 PM

                                             

                                            Hi Everyone,
                                             
                                            I wanted to share a picture with you of a recent trip to the markets here in Dakar...piled high in a corner...gathering dust and maybe even a little Patina!!
                                            Lee has kindly put the following link in for me..
                                             
                                             
                                            Wendy
                                             
                                             

                                            --- On Mon, 10/12/09, Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au> wrote:

                                            From: Ann Porteus <ann@sidewalkgallery .com.au>
                                            Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                            To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                            Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 6:11 AM

                                             
                                            Ed Thank you,
                                            All that you say is as is - life.

                                            If I remember this line follows the question 'is this piece, (Fang or was it Punu) genuine?  Think about genuine. 
                                            Is it genuine old used Fang art or is it genuinely made in a Fang village, maybe it was made in a city by a Fang carver who has not been able to find more profitable employment in the city or maybe it is contemporary carving made in Africa for the market by a carver who has a book of pictures or finally it may be carved by a carver in another country who has learned to copy items popular on the western market..

                                            What is fake? Do African carvers deliberately set out to create fakes for the western market or do they see themselves as artisans with a skill that can earn them a living in a country where unemployment is well above 50%? Do these carvers see themselves as fraudulent cheats trying to deceive the market?
                                            No they are people with varying degrees of skill who live in a poor country and are working to support a basic life and future for their families.

                                            I believe that it would be wonderful if each carver could be identified by their signature or mark on their work which would enable them to work as Western Artists do. The best are sought and receive the higher prices and the learners are inspired to improve their work so that they can then receive a higher price for their work as they improve and learn. 
                                            There is and will increasingly become a more limited availability of old used pieces and antiques. 
                                            Should we as collectors be looking to the future of African art and working to promote a future for their young carvers and artists?
                                            There are many young artists across Africa working as carvers for less than the poverty line in their countries and with no opportunity to promote and improve their skills. There are also many westerners who buy so called 'fake African art' . Surely it is genuinely African if made in Africa and not China or Indonesia.

                                            As a dealer or trader in this industry I know about learning. As a counsellor in another life I also know about peoples motivation. 
                                            I understand the desire to collect and the desire or necessity to stay within the budget. 
                                            I understand those who grow their selection from the beginner to those who, with experience, rationalises their collection as their experiences as well as knowledge and budget grows.
                                            Some begin with an innate eye and buy small but good. Others go for big in size but not necessarily old or genuine and rationalise later, yet others go for the things that please their eye.  The latter are often happy with their collection forever.
                                            Then there are others who decorate their homes. In just a few years they decide to renew the 'theme' and sell or dispose of their 'collection' ready to begin again with a new 'theme'. The dedicated followers of fashion.

                                            As you so clearly stated 'who can teach a person to like anything?' or to develop their taste or even more their eye.
                                            Genuine, fake, good copy, old, new? We all have an eye to suit our idea of what we like. 

                                            Please give those new to African Art an opportunity to enjoy their purchases and let them grow their collection.
                                            I do not suggest that we should not tell other members what we see with their piece but lets be gentle. 

                                            There are 'good copies' and there are 'new pieces' as there are 'hybrid pieces' for the decorator and 'ugly carvings' done by beginners who think they have learned all and no longer want to listen to their teacher or mentor in Africa. Why should they work towards excellence? It is never recognised or acknowledged for the individual carver outside their village. They just want to sell their carvings to enable them to have the cash to marry the love of their life.
                                            There are also good old pieces, occasionally at bargain prices, to suit those fortunate enough to buy them when they see them.

                                            I admire those who can grow their collection while learning from their mistakes. They are the ones who will end up having the great collections of the future. 
                                            They are few among us but our children and future generations will be able to learn from them.
                                            Money does not buy the ability to judge a genuine item it just enables us to make an easier decision. All we can ask is 'Is it really that good' and 'Is it really worth that price.'
                                            So often the best have a price to match but not always. With our interest in art we all have the gold fossickers'  lust and can all be lucky. Is this the hope that often stimulates the question to the forum with accompanying image?

                                            Lee is the diplomat who can direct the person to research links and books thus enabling them to make their own decisions and learn if they wish.
                                            We could all take note of his methods and learn how to guide others, always understanding that some will never want or be able to learn.

                                            I was very fortunate. The first collection of African art that I saw was good and I still refer to it, buried in my memory, today. It became my base line when I started this obsession that I am proud to wear today.
                                            I am also proud to have mentored young collectors who still love their first piece. The youngest was 9 years old 16 years ago. He would save money for West African sling shots and so that is what he collected then.  His income has grown along with his knowledge and appetite. 
                                            I wish that I could see his collection in 50 years time. I think that my eyes will be too dim at 112.
                                            ann

                                            On 12/10/2009, at 5:38 AM, Ed Jones wrote:


                                            Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                                             
                                            How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                                            "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                                             
                                            In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                                             
                                            John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.  Meanwhile, the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                              
                                            Ed
                                             


                                            From: "lokaart@aol. com" <lokaart@aol. com>
                                            To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                            Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                            Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

                                             

                                            John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                             
                                            Mike
                                             
                                             



                                          • M.E.F.
                                            Hi Steve,   While I agree with you that money economy is a necessary condition not only for collecting but for a lot else that not even the most ardent
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
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                                              Hi Steve,
                                               
                                              While I agree with you that money economy is a necessary condition not only for collecting but for a lot else that not even the most ardent anti-globalists would wish to do without, simply the existence of "Capitalism" is not covered by the simple existence of "Capital.  Capitalism is a geschtalt that has a philosophy behind it and is a complex system which is not started and ended in the existence of capital. I am sure you know that but just wanted to clarify a bit. Be well, Margalit

                                              --- On Mon, 10/12/09, spric1h <sprice@...> wrote:

                                              From: spric1h <sprice@...>
                                              Subject: [African_Arts] Re: REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                              To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                                              Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 11:45 AM

                                               
                                              Hi Ed

                                              I enjoyed reading your post - it is thoughtful, insightful, and educational. One question, though. Near the end, you wrote, "... narcissism and capitalism has their reign ..."

                                              Narcissism and its interference with collector education is obvious enough to anyone who reads this forum (or any other collector-oriented forum). But capitalism as an enemy of collectors? Without it, how could there even be collectors or museum collections? Nobody can deny that there are abusers of the system. But anyone who has participated in the world of collecting, even in Subsaharan Africa, would have been unable to do so unless some capitalist enabled him to do so.

                                              Regards

                                              Steve Price

                                              --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Ed Jones <bucit@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement  to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                                              >  
                                              > How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                                              > "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                                              >  
                                              > In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As  one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                                              > John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.   Meanwhile,  the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                              >   
                                              > Ed
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > ____________ _________ _________ __
                                              > From: "lokaart@... " <lokaart@... >
                                              > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                              > Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                              > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                              >
                                              >  
                                              > John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard of
                                              > pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at
                                              > just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement  to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                              >
                                              > Mike
                                              >


                                            • spric1h
                                              Hi Margalit I don t want to get into the politics of various economic systems here - this isn t the place for it. But it is a fact that if nobody could profit
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
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                                                Hi Margalit

                                                I don't want to get into the politics of various economic systems here - this isn't the place for it. But it is a fact that if nobody could profit from transferring ownership of pieces of African art, most of today's collectors wouldn't even know it exists. It's also a fact that there are people who abuse the system. That's unfortunate in many ways, but humans are like that. If I am forced to choose between dissemination of art and preventing the abusers from profiting from it, I'll select dissemination of art. I don't know of any additional practical alternatives.

                                                Regards

                                                Steve Price



                                                --- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com, "M.E.F." <mfliegelmann@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Hi Steve,
                                                >  
                                                > While I agree with you that money economy is a necessary condition not only for collecting but for a lot else that not even the most ardent anti-globalists would wish to do without, simply the existence of "Capitalism" is not covered by the simple existence of "Capital.  Capitalism is a geschtalt that has a philosophy behind it and is a complex system which is not started and ended in the existence of capital. I am sure you know that but just wanted to clarify a bit. Be well, Margalit
                                                >
                                                > --- On Mon, 10/12/09, spric1h <sprice@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > From: spric1h <sprice@...>
                                                > Subject: [African_Arts] Re: REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                                > To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 11:45 AM
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >  
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Hi Ed
                                                >
                                                > I enjoyed reading your post - it is thoughtful, insightful, and educational. One question, though. Near the end, you wrote, "... narcissism and capitalism has their reign ..."
                                                >
                                                > Narcissism and its interference with collector education is obvious enough to anyone who reads this forum (or any other collector-oriented forum). But capitalism as an enemy of collectors? Without it, how could there even be collectors or museum collections? Nobody can deny that there are abusers of the system. But anyone who has participated in the world of collecting, even in Subsaharan Africa, would have been unable to do so unless some capitalist enabled him to do so.
                                                >
                                                > Regards
                                                >
                                                > Steve Price
                                                >
                                                > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Ed Jones <bucit@> wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > > Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement  to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                                                > >  
                                                > > How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                                                > > "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                                                > >  
                                                > > In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As  one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                                                > > John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.   Meanwhile,  the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                                > >   
                                                > > Ed
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > ____________ _________ _________ __
                                                > > From: "lokaart@ " <lokaart@ >
                                                > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                                > > Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                                > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                                > >
                                                > >  
                                                > > John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard
                                                > of
                                                > > pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at
                                                > > just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement  to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                                > >
                                                > > Mike
                                                > >
                                                >
                                              • M.E.F.
                                                Dear Steve,   I was just being fastidious. I actually am on the same side as you in this but was being careful with the use of terminology.   Best regards, M
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
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                                                  Dear Steve,
                                                   
                                                  I was just being fastidious. I actually am on the same side as you in this but was being careful with the use of terminology.
                                                   
                                                  Best regards, M

                                                  --- On Tue, 10/13/09, spric1h <sprice@...> wrote:

                                                  From: spric1h <sprice@...>
                                                  Subject: [African_Arts] Re: REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                                  To: African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2009, 2:27 PM

                                                   
                                                  Hi Margalit

                                                  I don't want to get into the politics of various economic systems here - this isn't the place for it. But it is a fact that if nobody could profit from transferring ownership of pieces of African art, most of today's collectors wouldn't even know it exists. It's also a fact that there are people who abuse the system. That's unfortunate in many ways, but humans are like that. If I am forced to choose between dissemination of art and preventing the abusers from profiting from it, I'll select dissemination of art. I don't know of any additional practical alternatives.

                                                  Regards

                                                  Steve Price

                                                  --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, "M.E.F." <mfliegelmann@ ...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi Steve,
                                                  >  
                                                  > While I agree with you that money economy is a necessary condition not only for collecting but for a lot else that not even the most ardent anti-globalists would wish to do without, simply the existence of "Capitalism" is not covered by the simple existence of "Capital.  Capitalism is a geschtalt that has a philosophy behind it and is a complex system which is not started and ended in the existence of capital. I am sure you know that but just wanted to clarify a bit. Be well, Margalit
                                                  >
                                                  > --- On Mon, 10/12/09, spric1h <sprice@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > From: spric1h <sprice@...>
                                                  > Subject: [African_Arts] Re: REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                                  > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                                  > Date: Monday, October 12, 2009, 11:45 AM
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >  
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi Ed
                                                  >
                                                  > I enjoyed reading your post - it is thoughtful, insightful, and educational. One question, though. Near the end, you wrote, "... narcissism and capitalism has their reign ..."
                                                  >
                                                  > Narcissism and its interference with collector education is obvious enough to anyone who reads this forum (or any other collector-oriented forum). But capitalism as an enemy of collectors? Without it, how could there even be collectors or museum collections? Nobody can deny that there are abusers of the system. But anyone who has participated in the world of collecting, even in Subsaharan Africa, would have been unable to do so unless some capitalist enabled him to do so.
                                                  >
                                                  > Regards
                                                  >
                                                  > Steve Price
                                                  >
                                                  > --- In African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com, Ed Jones <bucit@> wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Mike wrote ..."Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement  to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain".
                                                  > >  
                                                  > > How do you suppose we can support and encourage fellow supporters in an effort to prevent them from from throwing their money down the drain?  Is there a "homogenized" or didactic approach which is more effective unilaterally?  Life itself is a matter of perspective based upon knowledge, experience, ethnic/cultural, religious and certainly monetary and unique individual personality and other subjective traits .  It is possible to share common interests in a group or collective.  However, I see it as an impossibility to prevent individuals from throwing their money down the drain... as if I or even "we" may not be doing a bit the same (lol) !! 
                                                  > > "A fool and his/her money is soon departed", "Teach a man to fish rather than give him fish"... problem is, who said that YOU can teach them? 
                                                  > >  
                                                  > > In general, people don't want to hear what is being said unless it tickles their ear and fancy with agreement.  As  one comes to a deeper conscious (bit of truth or reality) that it is not possible to save the world and keep others from experiencing the terrible wonders and bliss of personal responsibility for mistakes, judgments and failures because these things can be mechanisms to aide in development towards maturity.  We all experience this at some level eventually, so perhaps self-learning and application is better than didactic messages and institutional regulation and shelter.  Anyone that has ever raised children should know this well.  In the end, one will know who they are apt to support, encourage, guide and teach, and those that they cannot.
                                                  > > John brought up many good points.  The essence (to me), was just another reiteration of a sensible and objective "educated" perspective.   Meanwhile,  the world keeps spinning, life is given and taken, there is acceptance and surly rejection, the strong will continue to tread on the weak, and narcissism and capitalism has their reign and companionship with respect to the arts... in this case, "African tribal arts".
                                                  > >   
                                                  > > Ed
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > ____________ _________ _________ __
                                                  > > From: "lokaart@ " <lokaart@ >
                                                  > > To: African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com
                                                  > > Sent: Sun, October 11, 2009 7:34:07 AM
                                                  > > Subject: Re: [African_Arts] REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??
                                                  > >
                                                  > >  
                                                  > > John writes that he disagrees with what I have said. And yet, when I read what he writes, I must say that I agree with him! I think that there are two points here. Firstly, yes we can say that certain objects do not appear to be genuine solely on the basis of photographs. In the case of the Fang/Punu items shown here it is quite obvious that they are not authentic. But, if you have a look at, say, the African section of Ebay uk you will find many objects shown that look genuine, but which are almost certainly fakes. Here, I think, it is impossible to tell what they are without a physical examination - although, as these items often come with low starting prices, then I suggest that this is a bit of a give away! Secondly, the question of terms. I have just read a piece on the Swiss collector Udo Horstmann, who started collecting African art whilst living in South Africa. When he returned to Europe he realised that his pieces were not up to the standard
                                                  > of
                                                  > > pieces that he was seeing in museums and other private collections. According to Horstmann, "Suddenly I realised I'd got a collection of a lot of crap." As we all know Mr Horstmann now owns one of the world's great collections of African art. I have recently been to see two private English collections of African art. In both cases I would say that over 90%  of the items shown to me were, by my definition, fakes. In other words, copies of pieces that can be seen in museums but which were, in these cases, made recently to deceive unsuspecting buyers. I also note that several websites, set up by collectors to show their collections, are full of pieces that, again, do not fit my definition of authentic Africa art. The thing that I find very hard to explain, is that these collectors seem quite happy to collect this rubbish. And this, in a round about way, brings me back to pictures of items that are sent to the group for authentication. I am amazed at
                                                  > > just how many people seem to collect poor pieces. And yet seem happy to do so. Sure, we all make mistakes when buying tribal art. We are all human after all. Perhaps we need to show more support and encouragement  to fellow collectors, otherwise some people will, I am sorry to say, just be throwing their money down the drain.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Mike
                                                  > >
                                                  >


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