Christie’s African and Oceanic sale will feature major rarities

A sale of African and Oceanic art at Christie’s Paris will feature some extraordinary rarities.

All 200 pieces are consigned from the estate of Pierre Verite, a French dealer in tribal art who quietly built one of the world’s finest collections over the course of his career.

Hawaii war god

This fearsome Ku-ka'ili-moku figure is one of a handful of Hawaiian figurative statues

They represent the absolute apex of the market.

Top of the list is a Ku-ka'ili-moku war god figure from Hawaii, the only example not housed in a major museum.

It’s produced in the islands’ idiosyncratic kona style and is the twin of another carving that has been in the British Museum since the late 1800s.

Christie’s expects it to sell for up to $3.5m when it crosses the block on November 21.

Christie’s African and Oceanic art expert Alain de Monbrison told CNN: "This is an extremely rare piece.

"Never before has anything like this been offered at auction. All the other ones of this kind are in museums or institutions...

"We have never seen tribal art falling in value - it always grows.  

"That's because it's rare: There are more and more museums, but fewer and fewer pieces.

"I don't like to speak in terms of investment, but buying tribal art anytime in the last 40 years would have been a great idea."

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