african masksdealer species
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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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Tribal art dealer species

A very funny reading about all kind of African art dealers species.

by Veronique Martelliere who wrote it for our discussion group

Google

TA-dealers : species. 

the Whatever-Dea-Dealer : born to sell, anything from cans to cosmetics. The only thing he knows and wants you to know is the price. 

Standard dialog : 
- “Where does this come from ? 
– $ 1.200.” 

 the Who-Cares-Dealer. The WCD is an art-dealer maybe because his daddy was. But is not interested. At all. 

Who cares where this piece comes from ? If it pleases you, if you want it, buy it and beat it.

 the Fairy-Tale-Dealer

- What was this used for ? 

– It is a magical stick used by Walawala witches to get rid of toe-cramps. 

– Waou. How interesting.

The FTD will assert that this piece is a “Bibakobo” statue from Nigeria or Zaire (bottomless wells of unknown sub-tribes). You stay on the other side of the fairy-tale mirror, spend a hell of time searching in books and on internet the Bibakobo and Walawala tribes. In vain. But that’s part of the fun. 

 the Emphatic-Dealer. His shop is not a shop : it is a stage. Dancing between his pieces, with large gestures, the ED will make a Richard III tirade about the lines, the galbs, the proportions, the grace, the sensuality of the shapes… the mystery of death, beauty, eternity, infinity… maybe in verses, if you are lucky. You feel smashed by the weight of HIS emotions.

 OK, man, bravo. I may come back for this beautiful performance and dare disturbing your décor. 

 the Invisible-Dealer : hidden in the bushes of Internet, the ID sells objects through the screen. He shows his statues, his masks… but never his face. By the way, does God exist ?
 Ali Baba-the-squirrel : he piles his pieces as hazelnuts in his « cave ». Bring your surgeon-gloves, a torch and an Indiana Jones hat (!! Spiders !!). While ABS is searching for a paper or anything he lost, you can take your time exploring the den. Beware, though : only the dust may be authentically genuine.
 the Passionate-Hunter-Dealer. He will answer all questions and more : he will provide you with a tsunami of informations. 
Sometimes you even feel guilty for buying something which carries memories of so many adventures. If things go on a lucky way, the PHD will become your friend. 
 the COMICs-Dealer sells Copies Originally Made In Cameroon, usually in open-air markets. He may be himself originally made in Cameroon. “Yes, these are copies. But copy-making also requires talent and time”. True. Right. Of course. 
 the Snob-Dealer : If you are Gucci-shoed, Rolex-watched and Hermes-decorated, the Snob-Dealer will bend his back, serve you his most obsequious smile and make you feel that you are, for ever, his Master. He will answer all your questions and tell you the price with a low and confidential voice. Are you also a snob ? So, make an effort and try to enjoy.
If you are not “properly” dressed or, say, just a normal-spontaneous person, the Snob-Dealer will look down on you, with a pout of disgust. Maybe he will stand in the middle of his shop until you leave the place OR he will ignore you and pretend doing something important on his 18th century desk, asking his high-heeled assistant to watch you. If you ask a “silly” question (as : where does this piece come from ?), he will use half of his lips to answer. If you ask for the price, he will use his most cruel smile to clearly articulate a 4 or 5 figure number. 
If you can afford it, use your most satanic smile while laying out your $$ or EurEur. 

If you are in one of your bad days, do not leave the place without saying : “It is a shame : the few authentic pieces pathetically miss aestheticism. Let’s go next door.”

This typology is not exhaustive. 
All HEs can be replaced by SHEs.
Thank you for reading. 
Sorry for my frenglish.
And thank you, dealers, for existing.

Proxima-Vero

NB. A PHD friend of mine gave me an idea of :

Antique-art dealers talking together
- Mine is better than yours… … but, tell me, how did you get it ?
- You just got this ? Yeah… not bad. You are sure that it is authentic ? Beware, because there are many copies of this kind on the market, you know…
- I happened to have one like this, before… But of higher quality.
- You don’t think that your price is too high (~ too low) ?
- You could have sold it for a much higher price.

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In this section:
Start
Omhoog
David's buying tips
African art experts
dealer-tips
dealer species
african art commodity
Fake or Copy
Authenticity-Kamer
Selling African art
currency museum Ottawa
African artefacts
Does it need Evaluation ?
reconceptualisation
African-weapons
African ceramics
Fake Gabun
ceramic arts in Africa 

African art books

The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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read also : Start ] David's buying tips ] African art experts ] dealer-tips ] [ dealer species ] african art commodity ] Fake or Copy ] Authenticity-Kamer ] Selling African art ] currency museum Ottawa ] African artefacts ] Does it need Evaluation ? ] reconceptualisation ] African-weapons ] African ceramics ] Fake Gabun ] ceramic arts in Africa ]

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