african masksSothebys vente Nahon-Vence
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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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African art bargains at Nahon auction.

Fang pieces are the most valued among African Art ethnic groups. 

They are among the most mysterious ethnic groups, the most magical, most beautiful (?), certainly the most wanted! It is always been this way, it started with Paul Guillaume and it never ended since. In Paris Fang pieces sold around 300,000€- 400.000€ last month, but you could have bought good quality in Vence last Sunday for much less. 

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 At the Nahon auction you could have bought a good Fang piece for 60,000 euros . The African Art (approximately 35 lots) privileged the statuary of Gabon with 7 figures of Fang "reliquaires" which reflect a whole a different style, among which a very beautiful male figure of reliquaire Fang-Ntumu, ( lot 121, estimate: 50.000-70.000€ sold for 54.000€) and a rare Fang-Betsi statue collected in the years 1930 (lot 129, estimate: 60.000-80.000€ sold for 60.000€). A significant dance mask of Fang ex Arman , kaolin coating (lot 123, estimate: 100.000-130.000€ - did not sold) coming from the collection Jacques Kerchache ). Several pairs of male and female statues ibeji Yoruba (Nigeria) with a beautiful patina (see lot 118, estimate: 3.000-4.000€ sold 3600€) as well as a female Ivory Coast Senufo statue (lot 112, estimate: 25.000-30.000$ sold 32.400$) seduced the amateurs. 

David Norden 

Fang-GaudPS: If you are interested in buying a Fang see the one I have sale: 

http://www.buyafricanantiques.com/fang-betsi.htm SOLD


The Secret Garden of Marianne and Pierre Nahon

French Collectors Nahon Raise $11 Million at Sotheby's Sale

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- French art collectors Marianne and Pierre Nahon, who yesterday sold the contents of the gallery they ran out of their Chateau Notre Dame des Fleurs in Vence in the south of France, raised 8.8 million euros ($11 million) to pursue new ventures.

It was the first house sale of 20th-century art, according to Sotheby's Holdings Inc., the auctioneer, which had estimated the proceeds at 6.5 million euros to 9 million euros. The Nahons sold furniture, African art and Art Nouveau ceramics as well as works by contemporary artists such as Niki de Saint-Phalle, who died in 2002, and Jean Dubuffet, who died in 1985.

The collectors are best known for the Beaubourg Gallery they founded in Paris. They moved to the chateau, built on the ruins of a Benedictine abbey, in 1993 and opened their collection to the public.

The top-priced lot was ``Le Monde,'' a 1989 sculpture by de Saint-Phalle and her partner Jean Tinguely, who died in 1991, of a woman striding an egg. It fetched 433,600 euros, including Sotheby's commission, compared with a top estimate of 300,000 euros. The artists are known for their Stravinsky Fountain at Paris's Centre Pompidou.

Art Moderne & Contemporain, Arts Décoratifs du XXe siècle, Art Africain et Livres Modernes [PF4098]

Pierre & Marianne Nahon started dealing contemporary art in the 70's in Paris at "Galerie Beaubourg". 

They decided to stop the activities in Vence and sell everything even the 2500 m2 house .
Among them 25 African art items they collected.

I noted many fine Fang pieces and a mask once owned by Arman (lot 123) :

The Nahon collection with African art, first page:

search sothebys Nahon auction Vence

Location : Vence château Notre-Dame- des-Fleurs, 2618, route de Grasse, 06140 Vence

Session 1: Sunday, 18 Jul 04, 2:00 PM
Session 2: Sunday, 18 Jul 04, 4:30 PM

unsold Fang Mask at Nahon auctionFang Mask, coll Nahon, ex Arman 40 cm, 15 3/4 in.
 estimate: 100.000 €-130.000 € NOT SOLD

Cf. Dapper (1991: 83) for a stylistically related Fang mask of the ngil society.

It is difficult to make a precise attribution regarding the origin or function of this mask as there is no recorded information as to the date of its collection or observations made in situ. Moreover, there is a dearth of information on this vast region, which was difficult to reach between 1880 and 1930. However, based on the masks stylistic characteristics, it compares most closely to certain types of Fang masks.

According to Perrois (note of 9 November 1999), this mask "probably comes from the Fang of the northern region of Gabon, on the right bank of the Ogooué". Its style is similar to an "intermediate form between the ngil, ékekèk and bikeghe masks of the years 1920-1930 […]. The inside of the mask looks worn, with a wear-and-tear patina in keeping with the presumed date (1920). [This type of mask was used] during funerals, the end of mourning periods, initiations, anti-witchcraft group therapy, customary judgements, etc.".

According to Arman, who owned it, "[this mask is] an old object with characteristic traces of use that is of an excellent quality. In view of similar objects in collections or museums, we can describe it as a compact version of a ngil compared with the long ngils" (Arman, personal communication).

Sotheby's Paris to Auction the Marianne and Pierre Nahon Collection

On 18 July, Sotheby's is to sell off part of a collection belonging to Marianne and Pierre Nahon, the legendary owners of the Beaubourg Gallery. The gallery was founded in 1973 in Paris, but moved to the Chateau Notre Dame des Fleurs in Vence in the South of France in 1993. Set in a former Benedictine abbey, the gallery houses a collection containing African art, monumental sculpture and masterpieces of Art Nouveau, contemporary art, and the decorative arts.

Sotheby's auction will be held in situ in Vence and is expected to bring in between USD6.5 and USD9 million. The first session is dedicated to decorative art, furniture and African art and the second will concentrate on monumental sculpture.

Art auctions: Sotheby’s auction of the Nahon Collection generates EUR 8,777,420 [Jul 04] found at artprice

It was record after record at Sotheby’s in situ sale of the Nahon Collection in Vence on 18 July. After a first session dedicated to furniture and decorative arts, the second sitting focused on Contemporary and Modern Art, and, with a wide choice of works from the New Realism movement, it generated some excellent surprises.
The monumental sculptures were particularly well received with the 4.3 metre high centre-piece of the sale “Le Monde” by Niki de Saint Phalle and her husband Jean Tinguely fetching EUR 380,000 versus an estimated EUR 250,000-300,000. Only a few minutes earlier, Jean-Pierre Raynaud’s Pot 815 sold for EUR 93,000.
New auction records were set for a large number of artists including most notably for sculptures by Bernard Pages (EUR 16,000), Pierre Klossowski (EUR 40,000), Charles Matton (EUR 32,000), Philippe Perrin (EUR 19,000), and Philippe Berry (EUR 32,000) as well as for installation by Joseph Kosuth (Self-Described and Self-Defined: EUR 110,000). However, the highest new record was generated by Niki de Saint Phalle’s imposing 1968 work “La Vie en Rose” from the “Nana” series which sold for EUR 360,000.
In the Modern Art category, paintings by Francis Picabia were highly prized with several of his works almost doubling their estimates: Les Calanques (EUR 150,000), Nus de Dos Devant la Mer (EUR 110,000), and l’Elegante (EUR 205,000). Indeed, these prices were a perfect continuation of the trend observed on Picabia’s works over recent years: +124% between 1997 and 2004 according to the Artprice index. Marcel Duchamp’s La Mariée Mise à Nu par ses Célibataires and Eau et Gaz à Tous les Etages went under the hammer for EUR 16,000 and EUR 11,000 respectively, whereas his six minute recording that had been estimated at EUR 30,000-40,000 did not find a buyer.
In total, the Sotheby’s sale generated EUR 8,777,420 (USD 10,853,740) from 341 lots, promptly projecting the British auctioneer into pole position in France’s auction house leadership race.
 

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In this section:
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Omhoog
Sothebys New York report 11 Nov 05
sothebys report05-part2
Sothebys vente Nahon-Vence
sothebys new york nov 06 

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The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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