The Christie's sale on May 10, which featured objects from the collection of the late Ernst Beyeler, saw the sale of a fine Santa Cruz Islands platter for $314,500; an impressive Bidjogo mask from Guinea Bissau for $266, 500; and an Australian Aboriginal shield, estimated at a mere $3,000–5,000, for $116, 500.
The large sale at Sotheby's on May 11 saw even more impressive hammer prices. Three objects––a fantastic Bamana zigzag figure, a serene Buyu male figure, and an imposing Luluwa mask once in the collection of Dr. Werner Muensterberger––each sold for approximately $2.5 million. An excellent Kota reliquary figure commanded just over $1 million, while a Bamana seated female figure and a Dogon female figure ended at $782,500 and $542,500, respectively. Two major surprises came in the form of an Azande bone figure that exceeded its estimate almost tenfold at $512,500 and an unusual Lega mask, once owned by Henri Matisse, that began at an estimated $5,000–7,000 and eventually garnered a closing price of $362,500.
|Platter in the form of a fish - Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands|
|Mask - Bidjogo, Guinea Bissau|
|Shield - Australian Aboriginal|
|Zigzag figure - Bamana, Mali|
|Male figure - Buyu, D. R. Congo|
|Helmet mask - Luluwa, D. R. Congo|
|Reliquary figure - Kota, Gabon|
|Seated female figure - Bamana, Mali|
|Female figure - Dogon, Mali|
|Bone figure - Azande, D. R. Congo|
|Mask (with possible additions by Henri Matisse) - Lega, D. R. Congo|
Information and images courtesy of Sotheby's and Christie's