Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rare Luba Caryatid Stool sells for €5.4 million at Sotheby's Oceanic and African Art sale in Paris

A rare Luba Caryatid Stool from the collection of Harry Bombeeck was the top lot at Sotheby's sale of Oceanic and African Art sale in Paris, fetching fa remarkable €5.4 million. The sale totaled €8.5 million. 

The 51 centimeter-high seat is an outstanding work by the important sculptor of the royal court of the kingdom of Luba, known as the Master of Buli. This caryatid stool has been in the collection of notorious African art collector and dealer Harry Bombeeck since the late 19th century and has not been exhibited in over 65 years. The stool once served as ceremonial object most likely used by the council of elders when they presided over court cases in the Luba kingdom. 

Other top lots included a Male Figure from the Turamarubi Group of Papua New Guinea, which sold for €360,750. The figurative wood sculpture of a muscular male figure with red seed eyes was estimated to sell for € 400,000 - 600,000. A 43-centimeter high Senufo Female Figure sold for €294,750, nearly double the high estimate of €70,000 - 10,000. 

The sale of works from a private New York collection preceded the Oceanic and African Art auction, with a respectable 82% of the 49 lots finding buyers. The sale totaled €3.3 million. The auction's highlight was the Magnificent Fang Head from Gabon, which fetched €912,750. The work was offered for sale from the collection of Parisian African art dealer Paul Guillaume. 

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