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Re: [African_Arts] Re: REAL FANG & PUNU XIX CENTURY ??

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  • 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 1 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 2 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
      • 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@...> 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 3 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
          • 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
             
             


            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 5 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 23 , Oct 12, 2009
                    • 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 10 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
                      • 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 11 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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 12 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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 14 of 23 , Oct 13, 2009
                              • 0 Attachment
                                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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