African Mask Fetches $7.5M
At a Paris auction of primitive art, a "Fang 'ngil" African mask sold for $7.5 million - triple its presale estimate. It was the highest selling lot of the auction, which involved more than 500 items, and set an individual price record, though the sale raised about $54 million total, which was a record high itself.
Experts judged that the mask, which originated in Western Africa, dated to the 19th century. It was housed in the privated collection of Pierre and Claude Verite for most of the 20th century, out of the public view. The most remarkable thing about the mask is the impact that it has had on modern art. Painters like Picasso, Matisse and Andre Breton were said to have been deeply inspired by it.