Unexpected Treasures: African Figure
We consulted a couple of experts. Andrew Berz, of Sujaro Gallery in San Francisco tells us that indeed the piece resembles decorative bronze and brass standing figures that he has seen on occasions in the market in both Bamako, Mali and in Accra, Ghana. He tells Luxist that the pieces are not identifiable with one tribe and are not authentic pieces made for use in a tribal context.
Another expert, Tom Slater of Heritage Auctions says that the African figure market is still a new market and that while a few contemporary African artists have developed reputations and followings, both in Africa and in the West, most is by anonymous artists and therefore the value is generally whatever the eye of the beholder dictates. Slater says that if the work was by an identified hand whose work has an established market it would have a greater value.
He says this figure "does not appear to fit in any traditional tribal style, and doesn't seem like a particularly distinguished sculpture." His estimate is that the small figure would probably retail in a shop or gallery anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to perhaps somewhat over $1,000, depending on size and the location and price points of the shop.
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