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anyone collect artifacts?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
like african masks or something? i've been wanting to buy a few of the masks to contrast abit with my more modern furnishings..
post #2 of 9
My mother got into African masks. Be careful, one was infested with a wood burrowing insect. She only found out once she noticed a strange dust on the rug below.
post #3 of 9
50% are fake (not made in Africa), 49% are made in Africa specifically for the ignorant white tourist market, 1% are made in Africa and have actual cultural value beyond preying on gullible white people, of that 1%, 0.01% are for sale.

(slight exaggeration but not by much)
post #4 of 9
I have some Philippine tribal art which was gifted to me by a tribal headman for setting up an immunization program there in the early 90s - it's cool because it's authentic and it has a story behind it.

The hazard (I know it's too strong a word) in buying "decorative" tribal art is mainly (as previously stated) either fake or manufactured for tourist consumption, and secondarily because it often represents something "meaningful" which is misinterpreted or treated (inadvertently) disrespectfully by the owner (an example might be a religious figurine placed on a floor, or a niche where someone's foot if likely to point, or what-have-you).

Ancient curses notwithstanding, you never want your house decor to display an ignorance of a culture, even if it might be rare that people notice!

post #5 of 9
IMHO, few things are more lame than a man collecting tribal masks for the purpose of decorating his cardboard flat somewhere in US or Europe.

P.S.Tribal masks look great with mid-century furniture. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
P.P.S. Whites use word "culture" so liberally it lost all of it's meaning , except in a Petry dish.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
i'm actually filipino-irish lol! my great grandma was from south africa. i haven't lived there since young tho but i do live in manila now. the stuff i'm more familiar with are filipino/ chinese antiques.

there is a festival every year but it's not my province.

i was abit more interested in the true collector's pieces though and in general would have liked to talk about the designs that may have caught your eye.

and from my previous thread on wood aversion, do they mostly come in wood? i have seen metal ones put on a stand. i liked those. will snap a pic when i have a chance.
post #8 of 9
Go to the Met musueum, and the African wing is pretty much empty. I don't see any Asian or white people, and a few black people scattered here and there in the exhibit. That is not to say African art is not appreciated but it's so difficult to verify authenticity, and therefore has zero resale value. The "craftsmanship" is so easy to replicate that you have street vendors selling such as wares outside most museums, esp. the MOMA. African art is collected for its primitiveness and the pieces that do go for high prices tend to be pieces related to human sacrifice.
post #9 of 9

1) Tons of fakes in the market.

2) What isn't fake is often looted or difficult to establish provenance for.

The antiquities/artifacts market should be left strictly for the pros (and even they are often fooled or have to acquire things illegally to build a collection)
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