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Tribale kunst (Afrika)
Tribal Art (Africa)

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Dinsdag 6 november 14.00 uur
Tribale kunst (Afrika)

catalogusnummer: 3500
DRC., Lega, ivory standing figure
with rhombic shaped face and decorated with engraved lines and patterns of dots. Ex. Collection Will Hoogstraate, Galerie D'eendt, Amsterdam.
h. 17,5 cm.
taxatie: € 2000 - 4000  

catalogusnummer: 3500A
The following catalogue numbers are part of the tribal and Asiatic art collection of the famous Dutch painter Jan Sluijters (1881-1957). Tribal art: 3501,3502,3504,3517P,3580, 3304 and 3332. The Asiatic art numbers 3095, 3096 and 3097. The following text is about Jan Sluijters as a painter and collector of Tribal Art:
Jan Sluijters and ‘primitive art’

Jan Sluijters (1881-1957) is an already established, middle-aged artist when he begins to collect ‘negro art’ as it was called in those days. It is in the early 1920ies that he meets Carel van Lier who by then is an early promotor of non-western art in Holland. His keen eye for quality pieces is picked up by the municipal museum, which in 1927 puts up an exhibition devoted to ‘negro art’ with an odd 150 objects hailing from Van Lier’s collection. It is for the first time that, in Amsterdam, a fine collection of African, Oceanic and Indonesian art is shown to the public as art in an art museum. The spoils from the colonial area are at that time stacked in ethnographic museum’s showcases indiscriminate of quality or importance. This exhibition will surely have influenced Sluijters for he incorporated for the first time tribal objects in some of his portraits and still lives which continues until 1934. Most of these objects are bought at Van Lier’s. It is interesting to note that these objects are not used for their expressive qualities as might be expected, but for their exotic value or texture. This is a common trait with Dutch painters of his era who incorporated exotic objects in their still live paintings. Before, starting as early as 1914, he had painted black models, male and female, in an expressionistic mode. It is the exotic element combined with an unnatural colour scheme that appeals to Sluijters. Unlike the Parisian Modernists who use ‘primitive art’ as a starting point for a new expression, Sluijters and his fellow Dutch painters only handle these objects for their aesthetic properties.

Sluijters, as far as we know, has never commented on ‘primitive art’ or ‘negro sculpture’. He collects exotic art forms guided by his friend Carel van Lier when he can afford it. The Baule mask for instance cat nr 3502, which he purchases in 1937 and which came from the Paris dealer Charles Ratton, a classic example of a Baule face mask, will surely have been an expenditure a less fortunate artist could not allow himself. His African acquisitions comprised a Luba bow stand, cat nr. 3504, a We mask cat. nr 3501, and a Moluccas parry shield, cat.nr 3332, all purchased in between 1927 and 1938.

An interior photograph showing Sluijters’ living room in the late 1930ies gives an impression of how the artist lived. Objects mainly from Africa and China are mounted on 17th century tables and cabinets; masks adorn the wall in between paintings by his own hand, showing his affinities: a rare taste for objects referring to the Dutch Golden Age, modern expressionism and exotica.

taxatie: € -  

catalogusnummer: 3500B
The Dan mask, lot 3503 is not part of the Jan Sluijters collections but was bought in the same famous exhibition of 50 objects from the collection of Charles Ratton at Kunstzaal Van Lier in 1937. The following text is about Carel van Lier as the important nestor of Tribal Art in the Netherlands:
Carel van Lier, pioneer of tribal art in the Netherlands

A reviewer of De Telegraaf in 1927 called the ethnographic collection of art dealer Carel van Lier (1897-1945) ‘one of the greatest and best in our country’. Another reviewer estimated its size on ‘one and a half hundred pieces’.

The occasion was the ‘Exhibition of old Negro sculptures’ from the collection of the Kunstzaal Van Lier, which was on show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam from 8 to 31 January. That was the first time that a museum for modern art in the Netherlands paid attention to tribal art in a separate exhibition.

Where Carel van Lier had acquired his predilection for exotic art is unclear. His first wife, Katinka van der Veen, was a favourite model of Jan Sluijters and befriended Doortje Parree, the wife of Wim Schuhmacher. She introduced Van Lier in the Amsterdam art scene, where around that time the interest in ‘negro art’ began to penetrate. He befriended Sluijters and Schuhmacher, who both would later frequently exhibit in his Kunstzaal and also bought ethnographic art from their friend.

London, Antwerp, Brussels, Paris

Already in 1921, Van Lier opened his own showroom on the Amsterdam Damrak where he exhibited a ‘small collection of negro art’. Shortly thereafter, he moved his trade to the artists’ village of Laren, where he first continued his business in hotel Hamdorff and from 1924 onwards in his own shop. Here, in addition to Eastern and African art, he also showed modern paintings by, among others, Ernst Leyden and Jan Sluijters.

From notes to his second wife, it appears that Van Lier travelled from the mid-twenties to London, Antwerp, Brussels and Paris, where he traded with colleagues like Henri Pareyn, Charles Raton, Paul Guillaume and C.T. Loo. After having exhibited his now extensive collection of tribal art in the Stedelijk in 1927, his name was so well established that he could bring his business to the heart of the art world, the Rokin in Amsterdam. In the same year, Ratton opened his gallery in Paris.

Internationally famed

There, the Kunstzaal Van Lier grew into a gallery of international fame, where one could see the work of modern artists of that time: Schuhmacher, Sluijters, Dick Ket, Charley Toorop, Edgar Fernhout, Carel Willink and Hendrik Chabot and foreigners including Max Beckmann, Georg Grosz, Erwin Blumenfeld, Hannah Höch, Moïse Kisling and Margherita Toppi (see lots 4621 and 4622). Their mostly realistic work was combined with Asian and African ethnographic of the highest quality. Prominent collectors such as Eduard Baron Von der Heydt, Han Coray and Georg Tillmann were regular customers. Partly through them, many pieces from the Van Lier collection have ended up in museums in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.

Schuhmacher, Sluijters and other artists also bought or exchanged ethnographic objects from Van Lier. Some of the Sluijters pieces are now on sale (lots 3501, 3502 and 3504). In 1937 Van Lier showed fifty pieces from the collection of his famous Parisian colleague Charles Raton. A Dan mask from that exhibition is offered in this auction, lot 3503 and the horned Baule mask, lot 3502, from the collection of the Dutch painter Jan Sluijters.

Van Lier, Jewish but married to a non-Jewish woman, fell prey to the persecution of the Jews in 1943. Via Auschwitz he finally ended up in Hanover, where he lost his life to exhaustion.

taxatie: € -  

catalogusnummer: 3501
Ivory Coast, Dan-Bete, face mask, n'gre;
mask with animal mouth with moveable lower jaw, a pair of tapering fangs, cylindrical eyes and cut square holes for vision. The mask in black patina. Provenance Carel van Lier, 1927 and part of the collection of famous Dutch painter Jan Sluijters (1881-1957) and family collection Jan Sluijters. The black and white picture of this mask is from the gallery archive of Carel van Lier from 1927.
h. 23 cm.
taxatie: € 1000 - 1500  

catalogusnummer: 3502
Ivory Coast, Baule, face mask, kpan pre
female face mask with rams horns, curved ears, rows of carved lines and scarification's from temple to temple above the slanting eyes, an elongated narrow nose and a fine chin with small protruding mouth accentuated in kaolin white. With a triangular carved beard and small goatee. With dark and light brown patina with remains of black pigments. Ex collection Charles Ratton, Paris, before 1937 with his four digit white number 1898. Carel van Lier, Amsterdam, from the 1937 exhibition: ‘Cinquante Sculptures Africaines de la Collection Charles Ratton’ with his label: Kunstzaal Van Lier Amsterdam, No. 21.TCR. '37. TCR standing for Tentoonstelling Charles RATTON. Part of the collection of famous Dutch painter Jan Sluijters (1881-1957) and family collection Jan Sluijters. The black and white photograph online is from the Jan Sluijters family archive and taken before WWII.
h. 33,5 cm.
taxatie: € 6000 - 8000  

catalogusnummer: 3503
Ivory Coast, Dan, face mask, deangle,
mask with forehead ridge, narrow slit eyes in between curved and tapering recesses for the eye-slits with remains of chalk. A small broad nose and two curved and protruding lips with aluminium teeth, a small triangular shaped chin and two rows of rectangular pierced holes on the side. With brown patina with patches of black. Deangle masks represent a friendly female forest spirit and suggest a ideal of feminine beauty. They where danced during boys initiation camps for entertainment and good spirit. Provenance, Charles Ratton, Paris, before 1937 with his four digit white number 1193. Carel van Lier, Amsterdam, from the 1937 exhibition: ‘Cinquante Sculptures Africaines de la Collection Charles Ratton’ with his label: 'Kunstzaal Van Lier Amsterdam no. 31 TCR. '37.' TRC stands for Tentoonstelling Charles Ratton. Bought in 1937 by van Tussenbroek, Haarlem. Private collection The Hague. Also on the lower edge the written number C/2, this number could refer to Hans Himmelheber. There is a mask in the collection of the Tropenmuseum Amsterdam that has the same C2 mark in larger white writing. Himmelheber collected masks from Ivory Coast in situ between 1933-1935.
h. 24,5 cm.
taxatie: € 10000 - 15000  

catalogusnummer: 3504
DRC., Luba, bow stand,
standing female figure with full keloid scarification's on her belly with protruding navel, large oval eyes and protruding chin. Surmounted by a trident-shaped fork for holding the bow. Bow stands are sacred objects for chiefs and are guarded and hidden from site. Provenance Carel van Lier before 1927. In the archive from Carel van Lier is a photograph of this bow stand and it is believed to have been included in the exposition of his collection of African Art in 1927 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. (the original stand was once replaced) Part of the collection of famous Dutch painter Jan Sluijters (1881-1957)

Family collection Jan Sluijters.
h. 49 cm.
taxatie: € 5000 - 8000  

catalogusnummer: 3505
Nigeria, Yoruba, Ekiti, Efon-Alaye, offering bowl, olumeye
seated female figure with a child on her back and a offering bowl in her hands. The face shows a fine inner composure, the headdress agogo. The child on her back holds the mothers projecting breasts, the headdress of the child partly shaven, the bodies and the bowl finely decorated with geometrical pattern. She is wearing bangles, anklets and four amulets, tirah, from a collar. Ref. Fagg, Permberton ed. 1982, page 88 and 134. Provenance Philip Goldman, London and Loed van Bussel, Amsterdam.
h. 27,5 cm.
taxatie: € 5000 - 7000  

catalogusnummer: 3506
Mali, Bamana, Komo helmet mask, warekun,
wooden mask with broad open protruding crocodile style mouth with two pair of large fangs, small ears and a pair of attached antelope horns. Surmounted by a large and a smaller cylinder filled with cloth and wrought iron. The larger one is possibly used as a sacrificial container. The patina of the mask is composed of layers of offerings. Masks of the Komo association are seen as one of the most powerful objects in the Bamana culture and are danced with in enormous masquerade costumes covered in feathers of vultures. See Colleyn 'Bamana the art of existence in Mali' pag. 176. Provenance collection Rene Rasmussen, Paris, Bodes en Bode, The Hague and private collection Amsterdam. Drouot, 28 feb. 2001, ex lot 54 and Yale Archive nr. 0015100.
L. 70 cm.
taxatie: € 2000 - 3000  

catalogusnummer: 3507
Mali, Dogon, standing figure,
with central crest, standing on flexed legs. With dry encrusted patina. Provenance Loed van Bussel, Amsterdam and Herman Gordijn, Amsterdam.
h. 29,5 cm.
taxatie: € 500 - 800  

catalogusnummer: 3508
Nigeria, Wurkun, pole shaped anthropomorphic figure
with a black encrusted patina and a brass ring pierced through the nose.
h. 43,5 cm.
taxatie: € 600 - 800  

catalogusnummer: 3509
Togo, Fon, voodoo figure
consisting of a seated female figure with raised hands on a upside down container. With fetish patina and strands with cowry, wood, glass vessel. Partly clad in cotton and traces of white chalk. Provenance Jacques Kerchache, Paris.
h. 44,5 cm.
taxatie: € 1000 - 2000  

catalogusnummer: 3510
Nigeria, Yoruba, Ekiti, Efon-Alaye, helmet mask, efon;
consisting of a standing female figure dressed in long robe, with three diminutive containers in front, holding a fly whisk in both hands, the hairdo with long braids handing on her back. Flanked by a white and black standing figure and a white figure at the back holding an attribute. Painted in cobalt blue, white and red. With a beaded strand around the body. Provenance Philip Goldman, London.
h. 88,5 cm.
taxatie: € 5000 - 7000  

catalogusnummer: 3511
Madagascar, Sakalava, grave figure;
seated male grave figure with a prominent sex, possibly seated astride an animal. With pointed headdress. Weathered figure. Private collection Normandy, France.
h. 54,5 cm.
taxatie: € 2000 - 3000  

catalogusnummer: 3512
Cameroon Grassland, helmet mask
with elongated head with fine carved head dress with typical carved conical extensions. With layers of black patina. Ex lot 58 Christie´s Amsterdam, 29th May 2001
h. 46 cm.
taxatie: € 1000 - 1500  

catalogusnummer: 3513
Nigeria, Wurkun, pole shaped anthropomorphic figure,
pierced nose, notched eyes and incised headdress.
h. 38,5 cm.
taxatie: € 400 - 600  

catalogusnummer: 3514
DRC., Lega, ivory flute, ca. 1900.
with leather strap and wrappings and circle decoration. Provenance Volkenkunde Museum Nijmegen. (small damage on back) Herewith Mangbetu horn with anthropomorphic head. (restored)
L. 31 en 35,7 cm.
taxatie: € 200 - 400  

catalogusnummer: 3515
Nigeria, Yoruba, standing male figure
dressed in a tunica holding a snake, draped around the shoulders, in both hands standing on a cylindrical base. The face with expressive feathers with open mouth with carved teeth. Painted in red, white and indigo blue. Provenance Philip Goldman, London and published in: Ian Auld and Tom Philips 'African Sculpture, from private collections in London' 19 October to 8 November 1979', nr. 90.
h. 75 cm.
taxatie: € 2000 - 3000  

catalogusnummer: 3516
Liberia, Mende,
with a small face beneath a high stern, elaborate headdress surmounted by three horizontal tresses topped by a triangular not. Deep black to brown matt shiny patina. Ex collection H. van Witteloostuyn, Delft.
h. 35,5 cm.
taxatie: € 1000 - 1500  

catalogusnummer: 3517
Mali, Dogon, face mask, walu, early 20th century,
with four vertical projections, face with two slits, pierced eye holes and painted in earth pigments. (one flank restored)
h. 52 cm.
taxatie: € 600 - 1000  

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