TRIBAL ART LONDON 2022 - ILLUSTRATIONS BY KIBOKO
ADAM PROUT UK ALAN MARCUSON - UK BRYAN REEVES - UK CHRIS SHEFFIELD - UK CORDELIA DONOHOE - UK DAVID GODFREY - UK DAVID MALÍK - UK FRANS FABER - NETHERLANDS GALERIE LEMAIRE - NETHERLANDS IAN SHAW UK JOSS GRAHAM UK KARL NORTON & SUZY NICHOLSON UK KENN MACKAY UK KENSU OTENG - UK LISA TAO - UK LOUIS NIERIJNCK - NETHERLANDS MARCUS RACCANELLO - AUSTRIA MARK EGLINTON - USA ROB TEMPLE - BELGIUM STOTHERT & TRICE - UK TOM HURST - UK EXHIBITORS
2022 is the first physical fair in two years, during this period there have been both births and deaths in our fair’s community. Separated by Covid 19 and Brexit it is all the more wonderful that this September we will all come together to celebrate our passion for Tribal Art, cultures from around the world and the pursuit of knowledge and exchange of ideas.
This year’s Tribal Art London fair will be one of largest in recent years with many new faces joining us amongst old friends. On exhibit will be exceptional pieces many which have been collected and kept over the last two years finally ready to make their debut in 2022. We are excited to welcome both experienced and novice collectors from around the world for five days of Tribal Art mania.
Three books are associated with this year's fair; 100 African Blades by Ethan Rider is a deluxe volume presenting a selection of 100 traditional African blades that are not only functional but also works of art. Read in the upcoming catalogue pages TAL Co founder, Adam Prout’s interview with Richard Clinton about his collection of knives, many which feature in 100 African Blades. Wolfgang Grulke’s Adorned by Nature: Adornment, exchange & myth in the South Seas: A personal journey through their material culture and the magic, is a powerful visual celebration of the magnificent traditional adornments and trading networks of the South Seas, primarily focused on the islands of Melanesia Indie publisher, At One Communications, will donate up to 100 copies of the Adorned by Nature book to community groups in the South Seas, to inspire and facilitate local artists and crafters to produce modern and transitional interpretations of traditional adornments This is a not for profit project and all the many contributors have given their time, images and creative input pro bono More details about the book, reviews and online sales are at AdornedByNature AtOne org
I would like to thank our partners Tribal Art Magazine, Apollo, Hali and our charity partner EdUKaid for their continual support and partnership.
The third book is written by a dear supporter of the fair Ronnie Archer Morgan, encyclopaedic in his knowledge and always generous with his time Would It Surprise You To Know ? is a beautifully written memoir spanning Ronnie’s childhood and development from hairdresser for Vidal Sassoon, to Knightsbridge gallery owner and ultimately becoming one of the most respected figures in the antiques industry, culminating in a regular spot as an expert on the nation's Sunday favourite, Antiques Roadshow. Ronnie will also be hosting a tour of Tribal Art London on the 18th Sept, discussing what first drew him to Tribal Art and examining form and function of a selection of objects on exhibit at the fair. Copies of all three books will also be available in limited numbers for sale at Tribal Art London Fair's reception.
Victoria Rogers Fair Director
Preview Day 14th September 3.00 pm 9pm (RSVP ONLY) Public Days 15th Sept 10:30am 7pm 16th Sept 10:30am 7pm 17th Sept 10:30am 7pm 18th Sept 10:30am 1pm MALL GALLERIES, THE MALL LONDON SW1 WWW TRIBALARTLONDON COM DATES AND TIMES
ADAM PROUT UNITED KINGDOM www.adamprout.com email@example.com Large Naga Figure Assam Konyak or Wancho people C1900. Ex U.K. collection. 47cm tall. POA
ALAN MARCUSON UNITED KINGDOM www.marcusonandhall.com alan marcuson@icloud com A Terracotta Meat Cooking Pot Mafa people, Cameroon 1st half 20th century Extensive signs of use POA
BRYAN REEVES UNITED KINGDOM www.tribalgatheringlondon.com firstname.lastname@example.org 'La Belle Madeleine' Mask. Luba Culture, DRC H 18 cm POA
CHRIS SHEFFIELD UNITED KINGDOM www.cpsheffield.com email@example.com Songket, Malay people of Palembang, Sumatra in Indonesia. Woven using gold covered thread also coloured silk threads on a red background. These fine quality Songkets were traditionally worn for special occasions. Length 210cm by 83cm. POA
Pair of Berber Harratin Bangles This style of bangle comes up once in a blue moon in this condition and size. It is a combination of influences from across the Sahel. Even more rare to find a matching pair, which is how they would have been worn. POA
CORDELIA DONOHOE UNITED KINGDOM www.azultribe.com firstname.lastname@example.org
DAVID GODFREY UNITED KINGDOM www.davidgodfreyimages.com email@example.com Sri Lankan (Kandyan) Kasthane sword, the hilt decorated with Makara style motifs and iconography, Circa 18th Century Full provenance and research papers ex Henry Brownrigg Collection. POA F.R.G.S
DAVID MALÍK UNITED KINGDOM www.davidmalikarts.com firstname.lastname@example.org Luba Female Figure Bahololoholo Democratic Republic of the Congo Wood Height: 56cm (22 in.) Provenance:Herbert Baker (1924 2001) Collection, Los Angeles, California, USA POA
FRANS FABER UNITED KINGDOM www.fransfaber.com email@example.com Sumba Ikat Hinggi Kombu, man’s mantle Cotton, warp ikat Length: 220 cm, width: 130 cm Early 20th century POA
GALERIE LEMAIRE NETHERLANDS www.gallery lemaire.com info@gallery lemaire.com Parrying shield Southeast Australia (74 cm) Ex collection of a Dutch artist POA
IAN SHAW UNITED KINGDOM www.tribalartsandtextiles.com firstname.lastname@example.org A fine Colonial era Equestrian stool from the Lwena people of Angola 43cm x 40cm x 33 cm 1920 1930 Very fine condition Price £1800
JOSS GRAHAM UNITED KINGDOM www.jossgraham.com email@example.com Tashkent Paliak Suzani 19th century POA
KENN MACKAY UNITED KINGDOM www.tribalartantiques.com firstname.lastname@example.org Pre Columbian Azte crattle figure in the form of the fertility goddess Cihuacóatl Aztec CA. A.D. 1300 152 118cm high
KARL NORTON & SUZY NICHOLSON UNITED KINGDOM www.exquisiteafricanart.com email@example.com Chokwe Drum Angola 50 x 30cm Provenance: Ex Richard Ulevitch, USA Marc Assayag, Montreal. POA
KENSU OTENG UNITED KINGDOM www.koartand.com firstname.lastname@example.org Authority Staff Mende People Sierra Leone Early mid 20th Century Wood Height: 99 cm Provenance: Private Collection, UK
LISA TAO UNITED KINGDOM www.lisataofineart.com email@example.com Tonga Club akau tau Polynesia 102.5cm long Lozenge shaped flared head, and zig zag carving to the sides, 19th century POA
LOUIS NIERIJNCK NETHERLANDS www.primitiveart.nl firstname.lastname@example.org A votive figure, offered in local shrine. Rolpa district, West Nepal. 31cm. Ex. private collection. POA
MARCUS RACCANELLO Austria www.raccanellotribalart.com email@example.com Aboriginal Shield (Close up) Western Australia H68.5 cm W13.5cm POA
Publication: Expo cat.: "Emblems of passage. Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas", Ghent (Gregory), curator, Museum of Craft & Folk Art, San Francisco, 2002:112
MARK EGLINTON USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Provenance: Galerie de Monbrison, Paris, France Bernard Dulon, Paris, France Marc (1932 2002) & Ruth (1935 2000) Franklin Collection, San Francisco, California, USA Private collection, Acquired from the above Mark Eglinton, NY inv 3891
Kota Gabon 38.1cm
ROB TEMPLE BELGIUM www.robtemple.com email@example.com Songye standing female bowl bearer figure, D.R. Congo, 37.5cms tall. POA
STOTHERT & TRICE UNITED KINGDOM www.stothertandtrice.com firstname.lastname@example.org Detail of a Fiji tapa cloth. 19th Century POA
TOM HURST UNITED KINGDOM www.totallyoriginalmerchandise.com email@example.com Part of an archive of oceanic art, naval ephemera, mineral specimens and shells. These were collected by Lieutenant Robert Richard Sayer RN during the course of his naval career, specifically on HMS Seringapatams 1830 expedition to the South Sea islands.
ADAM PROUT SPEAKS WITH RICHARD CLINTON ABOUT HIS PASSION FOR AFRICAN BLADES AND REFINING OF HIS COLLECTION. CUTTING IT
AP Can you tell us a bit about your background RC My whole life I have been interested in the natural world, its flora and fauna and the people who live in the worlds varied environments. I am naturally drawn to the Victorian proclivity for collecting. My childhood was spent seeking out birds and insects which led to a life long interest in butterflies and moths that persists to this day. My grandchildren love feeding the multitude of caterpillars, which occupy net cages in our garden, and later watching the progeny of this endeavour hatch, expand their wings and fly away. Visiting museums added to my interest in natural history and strengthened my fascination with tribal artefacts and the people that made them. In a modest way I picked up curios from flea markets and antique fairs and along the way I met interesting people. As I got to know them better, they started to offer me desirable things to add to my very eclectic collection, which was more of a jumble of stuff from the world of natural history and tribal cultures than a themed, organised collection. The exhibition at The Royal Academy in 1995 AFRICA The Art of a Continent was a bit of a turning point. The unbelievable range and beauty of the objects on display was awe inspiring, and it changed my collecting focus to Africa.
"I am naturally drawn to the Victorian proclivity for collecting." One of the dealers who helped influence my collecting after this shift was Adam Prout, whom I met in the early days and who is now a good friend Not only has he supplied a regular array of interesting objects from a range of cultures,
In the spring of 1995, on route to a bird watching trip in Scotland, I stayed overnight with my friend’s brother. He had a display of weapons, which included a few tribal weapons, on his living room wall. Over dinner he revealed that he was interested in selling them. So a few Indian swords, Burmese daggers, and the odd flint lock, together with a selection of other oddities, accompanied me on my birding trip.
AP How long have you been interested in tribal art?
AP Can you recall the first piece of tribal art that you purchased?
Soon afterwards I attended the exhibition at The Royal Academy, AFRICA The Art of a Continent, and I was hooked. AP Why do you think people collect?
RC As a young boy I was interested in early man (I have some stone/flint tools), and this interest expanded to global tribal cultures and their ‘more natural’ way of life. My early passion for natural history included the human cultures that persisted with a more organic way of life in their native environments, despite the growing impact of more modern, so called, developed cultures. They never pretended to be old, but they were fascinating souvenirs of my trip. In 1990 a chance find in an antique shop added two Zulu spears and a Shona spear.
RC In 1988 I went on safari to East Africa and acquired the objects I just mentioned.
In 1990 a chance find in an antique shop added two Zulu spears and a Shona spear. In the spring of 1995, on route to a bird watching trip in Scotland, I stayed overnight with my friend’s brother. He had a display of weapons, which included a few tribal weapons, on his living room wall. Over dinner he revealed that he was interested in selling them. So a few Indian swords, Burmese daggers, and the odd flint lock, together with a selection of other oddities, accompanied me on my birding trip. Soon afterwards I attended the exhibition at The Royal Academy, AFRICA The Art of a Continent, and I was hooked. he is also very generous with his knowledge and advice, and quite happy to share information about interesting objects on the market. He makes a good lunch too!
RC I love collecting artefacts that appeal to my aesthetic ideals and illustrate the creativity of their makers; I see them as objects of real beauty African weapons in particular provide an endless variety of objects to collect, as no two are quite the same "A collection provides a reason for friendship, continuous communication and drives the quest for knowledge."
AP What inspires you? RC I love artefacts which are hand crafted from natural materials. Their organic nature is highly attractive to me. I love it that they were made for a purpose which transcends the mere physical object itself; they are magic. Many of these objects convey spirituality and were used to maintain a continuity of cultural significance, as well as to enhance the status of the owner. They were made, regardless of effort, to a standard that simply cannot be reproduced by today’s impatient techniques. This gives them a uniqueness that makes them very special.
RC A Masai spear, knife, and club and, on the same trip, five East African arrows 1988. AP Do you remember the first weapon you purchased?
AP What is your dream find?
RC My dream find was the Kota/Kele, but I am sure that other things will come along to tempt me But until they do, I am more than happy to admire what I have I know the Kota /Kele was coveted by its original owner, and then by the collectors who have looked after it over the years (indeed, Ethan spent years coaxing it from its previous owner), and that Ethan admired it daily for the years he held it… and now it means a lot to me.
AP Do you collect anything else?
RC Collecting is in my blood. From prehistoric flint artefacts, African masks, figures, staffs, sticks and clubs, snuff containers, African throwing knives, axes, adzes, knives and swords whether functional or ceremonial, I love them all. Not to mention my reference collection of insects and the full range of Dinky model military vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s!
If they are considered rare then they interest me more, similar to my pursuits for rare birds and insects. Then there is the process of collecting, the dealer community, and the close friendships that are made along the way. These kindred spirits are more than happy to spend their time discussing the specifics of each individual piece, sharing information and references and adding to the collective knowledge of the cultures that made and used them.
Having a collection provides a tangible link to this community and a bridge to the cultures, long since diminished, that made them. A collection provides a reason for friendship, continuous communication and drives the quest for knowledge.
AP Where do you source items for your collection?
RC Initially my efforts to acquire nice objects, generally masks, figures, and staffs, were pretty random and inevitably the quality was rather mixed, especially as my knowledge was lacking. With time and the help of good people, my experience grew. I had acquired a few interesting weapons, and the more I found out about them, the more interested I became. European dealers, especially those in Belgium, were a good source of material, albeit of mixed quality Arms Fairs in the UK were another useful venue Trips to the Brussels Non European Art Fair (BRUNEAF) opened another door, and there I met many dealers with access to better material Over the ensuing years I was offered a range of items and my collection grew substantially More recently I became friends with Ethan Rider, a tribal art dealer based in California, who has been instrumental in revising my perception of good and bad, and I have acquired some great pieces from him His book, 100 African Blades from 55 Collections, borne out of his true passion for African weapons, is a real triumph. Some weapons illustrated in the book are from my collection, and others featured I now own thanks to Ethan.
Volume two is under way, and it will include more pieces from my collection. I am looking forward to its publication, as I think it will be a great addition to the field of African weapons collecting.
RC My collection is full of favourites, but the one that stands out for reasons that are difficult to put into words is #42 from 100 African Blades. An abstract bird head knife from the Kota/Kele known as Musele, and described by Ethan as “an exceedingly obscure form.” I remember when Ethan acquired this piece he shared the images with excitement and enthusiasm, and we tried to uncover more examples besides the three examples known. For years, he was not willing to part with it, but this year was my opportunity, and finally it became part of my collection Every day it brings a smile to my face and every day I hope that Ethan does not miss it too much
AP Which is your favourite knife at the moment?
RC Yes, I am always looking for new pieces. In fact I have just acquired another rather unusual and beautiful piece illustrated in Ethan’s book from a yet to be identified tribal culture: #87 an elaborately decorated short sword with very distinct incising patterns that are almost flowery. I have only seen a few examples of this type of weapon with its superb handle, but none as good as this one. From a single reference it is attributed to the “Aruwimi,” but time will tell if more evidence comes to light to confirm or revise this.
AP Are there many fakes in the field and have you accidentally bought any?
RC There are many fakes on the market, most are easy to spot due to the lack of quality and the tell tale characteristics of the metal used in their manufacture. Some, however, are more convincing, and only through careful examination, familiarity, and experience can they be exposed. Examples of these copies have found their way into many famous collections and even museums. I too have been attracted by a few ‘too good to be true’ examples which have found a place in my own collection. Over time these have revealed themselves and have been replaced by authentic examples.
AP Are you always looking for new pieces?
AP Several of your knives have been published in the fantastic new book ‘100 African Blades’ by Ethan Rider.
"My dream find was the Kota/Kele, but I am sure that other things will come along to tempt me. But until they do, I am more than happy to admire what I have."
RC Collectors of anything must ask themselves this question from time to time From my point of view I would like my family to keep a few of their favourite pieces, plus my favourite piece of course, to remember me by The rest I would like to be offered to the collecting community through a few of the fairest and most discerning dealers that I have known, notably Adam Prout and Ethan Rider In this way those looking for their dream piece may just find what they are looking for AP If you were only allowed to keep one item in your collection what would it be?
RC 100 African Blades #42 Kota / Kele, Musele. It brings me joy every day.
Did Ethan have a strict criteria for the examples from your collection that were included in the book? RC Ethan is very particular when it comes to picking an item to include in his works. Authenticity is vital. He seeks opinions from other experts in the field and questions every element of each piece. The pieces are short listed; one day they are in, the next they are under consideration. For the sake of fairness and to maximise inclusivity Ethan has a notional maximum number to include from any particular collection This enhances overall appeal as many collections are brought together in a single volume and the reader can rely on the fact that the pieces truly represent the best of their type AP Are you pleased with the book? RC The book is a reflection of its author, Ethan Rider Ethan has an exceptional eye for quality and authenticity and an honest, direct approach to the evaluation of each piece. The pieces presented represent the author’s perception of great African weapons he refers to the differentiating characteristics as ‘flow.’ Ponder the fabulous images in this book and you will begin to understand what separates the great from the good. It is this that draws a collector to acquire new pieces. Especially from those dealers who ‘have a good eye!’
AP What would you like to become of your collection?
An examination of the The Royal Welsh Regimental Museum's Anglo Zulu collection. Zulu weapons development and regimental history. by Victoria Rogers The Defence at Rorke's Drift by WH Dugan (1879)
The legacy of the Zulu warrior has been encapsulated and immortalise through paintings, books and even Hollywood’s lens in the 1964 Zulu film. While the film Zulu and many accounts of the ‘Battle of Isandlwana’ are tainted with inaccuracies, colonial propaganda and plain embellishment the message of the Zulu people as intimating adversaries is inarguable.
Migration by the Nguni peoples from the North West to the South West of Africa, combined with search for better pastures and competition between the sons of Tribal leaders looking to ‘make their mark’ meant clashes between fragmented tribes was a regular occurrence. These conflicts were resolved for 300 years by an agreed structure; warriors from each side would convey together at an agreed time and day. Standing 100 yards apart with the rest of the tribe in moral support behind the lines, they would initial advance moving 50 yards forward yelling insults and hurling their spears, eventually more warriors would join in, until once side retaliated or dropped their spears in a sign of submission. Around 1805, Dingiswayo, chieftain of the Mthethwa clan of the North (Natal) Nguni division of the Bantu people, introduced the approach of age banding regiments, there was no adjustments to weapons but through this and a more organised approach to the structure of his regiments he was able to defeat during a 5 year period over 30 tribes with minimal
bloodshed, and thus earned himself a chiefdom Dingiswayo military approaches were further developed by his protégé Shaka (the illegitimate son of a Zulu chief) who implemented his preferred weapon, the Iklwa; a short, wide, bladed, spear used in close combat. Shaka also developed new military approaches. Similar to modern troops, the Zulu army did not move in a mass but advanced in lines of three. A key approach Shaka developed was the ‘Bull or cow horn’ attack which involved a central group of soldiers carrying cowhide shields in close formation, creating a defence wall. Young, fast soldiers then flanked to the right and left and while the central soldiers moved forward. Their enemies thus focused on keeping the advancing central, shielded, warriors at bay. The flanking soldiers would run out and around their opponents like the horns of a bull and attack from behind. This technique was used effectively in the Anglo Zulu war, specifically at the‘Battle of Isandlwana’ The British, armed with rifles, holding about 70 rounds of ammunition made the grave mistake of housing their ammunition supplies several yards behind them. As they defended their front from the shielded Zulu army advancement, they found when they turned to refill their ammunition belts that the horns of the Zulu army were already entering the ammunition holding area, cutting them off from their supply and causing the loss of 1800 British soldiers. During this period of conflict, the King of Zululand drafted soldiers from across the country. Regiments made up by the age banded groups were head up by contracted, more experienced soldiers. Zulu warriors were unmarried until the age of 30 and wore a fur band to indicate their of marital or lack of status, at 30 under the authority of the king, the Zulu warriors would be matched and married.
Bull's horn fighting structure
Weaponry was standardised by the state; the Knobkerrie (iWisa) was a short staffed stick with a large rounded top carved from a single piece of wood. The knobkerrie would be directed with force towards the nose area of the enemy causing broken bones in the nose and frontal area of the face. Alternative weapons were, the Assegai know to the Zulu’s as a Iklwa (the Zulu name mimics the extraction of the spear from a body) a thin, short, spear with a long broad blade used to stab enemy at short range. For distance combat the Zulu’s used a throwing spear which was thin and light trained regiment jogged the 15 miles to Rorke’s Drift, swimming across a flooded river to then go on to fight for some eight hours During this period of conflict, the King of Zululand drafted soldiers from across the country Regiments made up by the age banded groups were head up by contracted, more experienced soldiers The developments of the Zulu’s weapon choice as well as a more organised overall approach to regimental structuring was driven by a conscience change in war “goals”. Initially fighting was between small tribes “duelling battles” to protect areas and obtain cattle. weight so as to be aerodynamic. For protection the Zulu’s used a highly stylized shield made of tough cow skin. Shields were provided by the king and age and experience of regiments dictated the colour of shield carried, with younger warriors given shields of brown or black while more experienced regiment’s shields increased in lightness to white with speckled brown. Experience was valued as much as youthful stamina in the Zulu Army, though these things were not necessarily mutual exclusive. Ntshingwayo KaMahole who was in his 70s was a high ranking leader of the Zulu army during the ‘Battle of Isandlwana’ and the average age of the 800 Zulu soldiers that made up the UThulwana regiment was 50. During the ‘Battle of Isandlwana’ this highly Regiments made up by the age banded groups were head up by contracted, more experienced soldiers.
Ntshingwayo kaMahole aged about 70 Senior Commander of the Zulu army at Isandlwana
Dingiswayo’s improved organisation allowed his regiment to and with very few causalities attack and absorb other tribes in a term referred to as “battles of subjugation”. The further introduction of the Iklwa spear by Shaka and its close combat style meant an increase in casualties but was part of an effective offensive fighting technique which in term created the idea of “battles of conquest”. The final evolution in war strategy, spurned on by the development of a Zulu Empire was ‘campaign battles’ whose main approach was to defend the empire and more importantly keep the army busy
A special thanks to the curators of The Royal Welsh Regimental Museum, Brecon, Wales for the generous contribution of their time and allowing access to their collection Lowest two spears being Assegai Zulu spears in a collection of South African spears
TH I started collecting about six years ago, before that I collected militaria, my first purchase was a Martin Henry rifle that I bought at Newark antiques fair for £200, this inspired me to start collecting iklwas, assegais and knobkerries, before looking at the wider picture realising what you could collect from Africa, oceanic regions and then everything else came with it. In the beginning, I was buying things I wouldn’t necessarily buy now objects that may have just about been tribal used and didn’t have as much age as maybe now I would hope AP Did you make many mistakes in the early days TH You always make a few mistakes along the way whether that be in the way of Guns and Gold Adam Prout speaks with TAL dealer Tom Hurst about his journey from a Martin Henry Rifle to West African Goldweights.
AP How old were you when you first discovered Tribal Art and what inspired you to enter the field
making a loss or buying fake. It’s all part of the learning process and you’re paying for your education. The worst thing I have purchased was a fake Marquesas islands fan handle, it sadly left me cold while in my hand, lacking any charm, wonderful patina or wear. Oh so contrived. Yes, I fell into the trap but managed to wangle out of it.
AP How are you going to play the show this year?
TH My only criteria for buying is I’ve got to love the object to buy it. Without the love, you might as well be a used fridge salesman. It has to be vaguely saleable although many of my things aren’t. I’ve created many collections of objects, everything from Ashanti gold weights to Dinka clubs to Amani Shields to Kiribati shark tooth weapons and more. I love the repetition of buying the same objects, No object ever being quite the same, having its character and uniqueness through who has fashioned the object, how it’s been cared for, the hands it has passed through and the tails it has to tell.
TH This year I’ll be bringing about 400 objects to Tribal Art London, hoping to AP Are there any particular objects or areas that fire you up at the moment?
TH The things I’m getting excited about at the moment are early New Guinea art, primitive utilitarian objects for instance early pounders, having a wonderful primitive feel, dry, crusty surfaces Or a lovely patina, sheen to them through the hands that have held it. I always love finding something that looks like it’s just come out of the barn lovely dry surface even with a little bit of fly spittle which I always like to leave on the piece. It never fails to upset me when someone polishes something up and removers a patina that takes 10 minutes to wipe away and may have taken hundreds of years to create, telling the story of the object's life.
AP What criteria do you use when buying
create an almost Pitt Rivers aesthetic, quirky old display cases lovely old simple furniture, and as country house as possible. I’ve never been afraid to buy big crazy objects that a lot of people would say are very unsaleable, Always wanting to own an enormous canoe or Longboat whether that may be a New Guinea example or Solomon Islands example etc.
AP You have an extensive collection of Ashanti Gold weights, what do you love about them. TH Ashanti goldweights are a subject that fascinates me, not only the long standing existence starting in the 14th century with very primitive looking geometric forms leading on into the 17th century with very early figurative gold weights, them being the rarest, having very organic primitive forms with almost black patinas, the best I have owned was an oliphant playing man.
Also, the diverse range of miniature objects you can collect, some of the most fascinating being copies of European objects, one example I’ve always hoped to find is a copy of the 19th century Indian Ivory chess piece, horse. Not only the are they fascinating but The rich history and stories that come with some of the objects, my favourite being the tale of the giant snail. On the whole they are inexpensive beautiful one off miniature sculptures. You always make a few mistakes along the way whether that be in the way of making a loss or buying a fake. It’s all part of the learning process and you’re paying for your education.
TAL 2022 proudly supports three new publications at this year's fair, please click on images to order or preorder your copy of these exceptional books today. Copies of all three books will also be available in limited numbers for sale at the Fair reception.
Wolfgang Grulke’s Adorned by Nature: Adornment, exchange & myth in the South Seas: A personal journey through their material culture and the magic, is a powerful visual celebration of the magnificent traditional adornments and trading networks of the South Seas (primarily focused on the islands of Melanesia. Indie publisher, At One Communications, will donate up to 100 copies of the Adorned by Nature book to community groups in the South Seas, to inspire and facilitate local artists and crafters to produce modern and transitional interpretations of traditional adornments. This is a not-for-profit project and all the many contributors have given their time, images and creative input pro-bono. More details about the book, reviews and online sales are at AdornedByNature.AtOne.org.
The second volume of 100 African Blades, is now available for preorder with free shipping worldwide. Once again Ethan Rider presents a beautifully curated collection of traditional African blades in this exceptional book. Featuring a new group of masterworks from public and private collections, an important exposé on inauthentic blades, and unique data from field testing of twenty-five throwing knives.
Ronnie Archer-Morgan has brought to life the fascinating, often surprising backstories behind the country’s treasures on the Antiques Roadshow. Now for the first time, Ronnie tells his own unlikely story in an extraordinarily warm and candid tale that spans care homes to castles, deprivation and abuse to adventure and fame. Born in the fifties to a Sierra Leonean mother battling mental health problems, Ronnie spent his childhood in and out of the English care system. After difficult beginnings marked by abuse, racism and brushes with gangs and the police, Ronnie’s life turned a corner after his first visit to the V&A Museum where a lifelong fascination with art and antiquities was born.
From this fascination with beauty came a career defined by variety with stints as a DJ and celebrity hairdresser for Vidal Sassoon in seventies London, before Ronnie’s flair for spotting hidden gems led him to working for Sothebys and starting his own renowned Knightsbridge antique gallery.
Today, Ronnie is one of the most respected and recognisable figures in the antiques trade and has spent the last decade as a much beloved expert on the nation's Sunday favourite, Antiques Roadshow.
Showcasing the finest African blades, many have never been published or seen by the public before. Together, these demonstrate the beauty and diversity of this often-overlooked but extraordinary art form.