As we've previously reported, contemporary and 20th century art has consistently proven itself as a good investment in the current market and throughout the recession.
The trend emerged at Bonhams & Butterfields' February 12 sale of African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian art, at which sales totaled more than $500,000.
The highest selling lot in the sale was a Tapuanu gable mask from the Mortlock Islands, presented by a converted chief to a Belgian Mission prior to World War II.
Consigned by Scott Duggleby, a private Dallas collector, it sold for $33,550.
Incredibly, the mask went to auction with a relatively meagre $6,000-$8,000 estimate.
Also among the top lots was a pair of Maori pendants, including a four-inch long carved nephrite example collected in the 1850s from the Rotorua area, North Island of New Zealand.
Estimated at $8,000-$12,000, competitive bidding pushed it up to an incredible $45,750.
Elsewhere, a great entry-level investment sold to a very lucky buyer: another Maori nephrite pendant from the 1940s which doubled its estimate, realising $11,590.
Bonhams' sale featured a varied collection of masks, tools, weapons, decorations, figures, vessels and jewellery; many of noted provenance and consigned by respected private collectors.