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The Collection of Allan Stone: African, Oceanic & Indonesian Art - Volume One

Sotheby's
New York


10 AM, November 15, 2013

Sale 9040


Catalogue cover

Catalogue cover with detail of Lot 114, Songye Four Horn Community Power figure

By Carter B. Horsley

Allan Stone was a New York art dealer whose worked with artists such as Wayne Thiebaud and with African, Oceanic and Indonesian art.

The November 15, 2013 auction of his important African, Oceanic and Indonesian Art at Sotheby's New York includes a lot of very fine power figures from Africa and some very wonderful weathered figures.


Allan Stone

Photograph of Allan  Stone from the catalogue

The cover illustration of the auction's catalogue is Lot 114, a Songye "Four Horn" Community Power figure from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It is 21 7/8 inches high.  Three of the horns atop the figure's head at Common Waterbuck  Antelope and the fourth is Domestic Goat.  The figure has a civet skin draped from its waist.  The lot was once in the collection of Merton D. Simpson of New York.

The catalogue entry notes "the serene expression of the figure's face, where time stands still,"  adding that "through this juxtaposition of opposing qualities, the unknown artist created one of the most arresting works of all figurative sculpture - a universal masterpiece." It added that "widely published and exhibited, the "Four Horn" statue from the Allan Stone Collection is an icon of African art."

It has an estimate of $600,000 to $900,000.  It sold for $2,165,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

The sale total was $11,489,750 and more than 93 percent of the offered 154 lots sold.



Scary lady
    

Lot 28, Dayak reliquary guardian figure, Borneo, Indonesia, circa 1280-1400 A.D., 35 inches


The finest work in the auction is Lot 28, a Dayak reliquary guardian figure from Borneo, Indonesia that is dated circa 1280-1400 A.D.  Itis 35 inches high and was once in the collecion of Maureen Zarember.  Primitive works of art are very rarely so old.  The catalogue entry said that such figures were "incorporated into richly-adorned ancestral ossuary -shrines which were placed incaves, on cliff ledges, or under rocky overhangs.  The lot has a very modest estimate of $60,000 to $90,000 and was the back-cover illustration of the catalogue.  It sold for $185,000.

Dayak fragment


Lot 27, Dayak fragment of an ancestor image, Borneo, Indonesia, 29 inches high

Lot 27 is a wonderful Dayak fragment of an ancestor image from Borneo, Indonesia.  It is 29 inches high.

The catalogue entry provides the following commentary:

"This beautiful and intriguing fragment, once part of a colossal ancestor image (generally referred to as a hampatong) is notable for its great refinement, elegant design, and monumental scale. The wood has been extensively weathered from exposure to the elements in situ.  This natural erosion poetically cooperates with the sculptors's design, which persists despite the passage of time.

The lot  has an estimate of$15,000 to $25,000.  It sold for $35,000.


Eroded man

Lot 86, Mabilia Figure, Cameroon, 25 3/4 inches high


Lot 86 is a fine but eroded Mabilia Figure from Cameroon.  It is 25 3/4 inches high.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It failed to sell.



The Mummy

Lot 143, Kwere Power Figure, Tanzania, 39 1/2 inches high

One of the most startling works is Lot 143, a Kwere Power Figure from Tanzania that is 39 1/2 inches high and looks like it had the leading role in "The Mummy."  It has a modest estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.  It sold for only $21,250.


Hayman 2            Hayman 1

Lots 64 and 63, left and right, Senufo Oracle Figures (Kafigeledjo), Ivory Coast, 35 and 41 inches high, respectively

Lot 64 and 63 are superb Senufo Oracle Figures (Kafigeledjo) from the Ivory Coast.  They are 35 and 41 inches high, respectively.  Lot 64 was once in the collection of Allan Frumkin of New York.  Its featureless head is surmounted by hornbill feathers.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It sold for $75,000.

Lot 63 has Domestic Chicken feathers as a coiffure and also has a pendant of a Violet Turaco skull.  The catalogue entry notes that these figures "are among the most visually poetic of all African figural sculptures.  It quotes a commentary on a similar figure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that it "deliberately provokes anxiety through its shrouded anonymonity and the sense of suffocation and entrapment."  This lot has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.  It sold for $16,250.

Horny head man

Lot 73, Igbo Male Shrine Figure (Ikenga), Nigeria, 52 1/2 inches


One of the most imposing works in the auction is Lot 73, a large Ibgo male  shrine figure (Ikenga) from Nigeria.  It is 52 1/2 inches tall.  In one hand, the figure holds a large knife and in the other a severed  human head,.  The catalogue entry observes that the work has a "particularly lively, expressively sculpture style," add that "with its fleshly features, an impressive set of horns and a mischievously confident toothy grin, it is a superb image of the strength and prosperity ikenga expresses."  It has a modest estimate of $15,000 to $25,000.  It sold for $52,500.


Curly

Lot 80, Ejagham Headdress, Cross River Region, Nigeria, 27 inches high

One of the most dramatic  works in the auction is Lot 80, an Ejagham headdress from the Cross River Region in Nigeria.  It is 27 inches high.  The catalogue entry quotes commentary on a similar work in the Musee Barbier-Mueller in Geneva that observes  that"the monumental hairstyle is composed of five coiled plaits or braids unusually large in African statuary and masterful in the perfection and symmetry of their coils. Ethographic accounts report that this hairstyle was worn by young women during initiation and the period of reclusion prior to marriage  The lot was formerly in the Merton D. Simpson collection.  It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.  It sold for $305,000.


KaolinLotsa nails

Lot 103, Kongo Community Power Figure of the name "Chingunge N," Loango Kingdom, Republic of Congo, 22 1/2 inches high, left; Lot 100, Kongo-Yorribe Nail Power Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 28 inches high

Lot 103 is a Kongo Community Power Figure of the name "Chingung N" from the Loango Kingdom in the Republic of Congo.  It is 22 1/2 inches high and has considerable traces of kaolin.  It  was collected by Robert Visser between 1882 and 1903 and was once in the collection of Merton D. Simpson of New York.  It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.  It sold for $293,000.

Lot 100 is a Kongo-Yorribe Nail Power Figure from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It is 28 inches high and was once in the collection of Merton D. Simpson of NewYork.  It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.  It sold for $1,805,000.


Feather lady

Lot 131, Songye Community Power Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 36 inches high

A very striking Songye Community Power Figure from the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Lot 131.  It is 36 inches high and is adorned with metal headdress and facial decorations and magical substances (bishima) and metal elements (bishishi).  It has a modest estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.  It sold for $137,000.


Power figure with feathers

Lot 118, "Songye Community Power Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 35 inches high

Lot 118 is a great Songye Community Power Figure from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It is 35 inches tall and was once in the collection of Charles Ratton of Paris and Merton D. Simpson of New York.  The head is decorated with feathers of the female Congo Peafowl, streips of the Common Waterbuck Antelope and covered with White-Throated Monitor and Ringed water cobra skin.  With its ribbed neck and square-shaped torso and various attachments and studs, this is a spectacular work.  The lot has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.  It sold for only $605,000.

Belly


Lot 134, "Songye Community Power Figure, Democratic Republic on the Congo, 32 1/2 inches high

Another impressive Songye Community Power Figure is Lot 134, which is 32 1/2 inches high.  It was formerly in the collections of John J. Klejman of New York,Leslie and Peter Schlumberger of Houston, and Merton D.Simpson of New York.  It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.  It sold for $341,000.


Fang


Lot 92, Fang-Ntumu Male Reliquary Figure, Gabon, 17 1/4 inches

Lot 92 is a good Fang-Ntumu Male Reliquary Figure from Gabon.  It is 17 1/4 inches high.  It has an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.  It sold for $75,000.

Neck

Lot 78, "Wurkin/Bikwin Vertical Female Mask," Benue River Valley, Nigeria, 38 inches high

Lot 78 is a stunning "Wurkin/Bikwin Vertical  Female Mask" from the Benue River Valley in Nigeria.  It is 38 inches high  It has an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000.  It sold for $4,375.



Feathers

Lot 35, Naga headdress probably Tangkhul Group,Nagaland, India, 42 inches high

Lot 35 is an impressive Naga headdress, probably Tangkhul Group, from Nagaland, India.  It is 42 inches high and was once in the collection of Maureen Zarember.  It has an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000.  It sold for $10,000.

Bamileke beaded masks

Lot 82, left, and Lot 83, right, Bamileke beaded elephant masks, Cameroon, 66 and 60 inches high, respectively

Lot 82 an 83 are very colorful and delightful Bamileke beaded elephant masks from Cameroon.  There are 66 and 60 inches high.  Lot 82 has an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000.  It sold for $8,125.  Lot 83 has an estimate of $4.000 to $6,000.  It sold for $8,750.



Very long headdress

Lot 45, Bwa Serpent Mask (Doho), Burkina Faso, 14 feet 11 inches long

Lot 45 is a spectacular Bwa Serpent Mask (Doho) from Burkina Faso.  It is 14 feet 11 inches long.  The catalogue entry includes a 1987 quotation from Christopher Boy about the mythological origin of the serpent "masquerade":

"Many years ago the men of Dossi raided a neighboring village and were routed.  An elder from Dossi hid from his vengeful pursuers in the burrow of a great serpent, saying to the serpent that he was not there to harm it but to save his own life.  He was forced to hide for two market weeks, during which time the serpent brought game to the burrow for the elder to eat.  When, eventually, the elder returned to Dossi, he consulted a diviner, who told him to carve a mask and to respect the serpent as a protective spirit."

The lot has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.  It sold for $112,500.  




See The City Review article on the Spring 2013 article on the African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian auction at Sotheb's New York

See The City Review article on the Spring 2012 article on the African, Oceanic & Pre-Columbian auction at Sotheby's New York

See The City Review article on the Spring 2012 article on Masterpieces of African Art from the collection of the late Werner Muensterberger at Sotheby's New York

See The City Review article on the Spring 2012 Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas auction at Christie's New York

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 auction of African and Oceanic Art from the Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian art auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbia art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on Spring 2008 African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on Spring 2007 African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Saul and Marsha Stanoff Collection of African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian and Indian Art auction at Sotheby's May 17, 2007

See The City Review Article on the William Brill Collection of African Art at Sotheby's November 17, 2006

See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 African & Oceanic art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2005 African & Oceanic Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2004 African & Oceanic Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2004 African & Oceanic Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Tribal Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Tribal Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Tribal Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Tribal Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2001 African & Oceanic Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2000 African and Oceanic Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1999 African and Oceanic Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 1999 African and Oceanic Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 1998 Sotheby's African and Oceanic Art auction

See The City Review article on the Spring 1998 Sotheby's African and Oceanic Art auction

 



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