before had there been a public exhibition of African Art in the United States, and Anderson, like many young artists, went to see the inspirational sculptures that avant-garde artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Leger had studied. The show had a major impact on the young artist, and with money borrowed from his father he purchased thirteen works of African Art from Pierre Matisse Gallery and Valentine Gallery immediately after leaving the museum. The present work was purchased from the Charles Ratton Collection at Pierre Matisse gallery. Anderson never purchased another work of African Art and cherished his trophies until his death in 1999. The sale will also feature a Superb and Highly Important Yoruba Door by Olówè of Isè, Nigeria (est. $80/120,000). For a traditionally anonymous art form such as African Art, the notion of an individual artist is rare, and only a handful of artists are known by name. Of all great known African artists, Olówè of Isè (1875-1939) is arguably the most famous. His work has been widely published and exhibited, and he is the only African artists whose work has been gathered in a catalogue raisonné published by Roslyn A. Walker in 1998. Olówè of Isè usually sculpted for local kings in Nigeria, and his doors adorned the most glamorous palaces in the area; however this door, with a square divination tray at the center, is thought to have been carved for a high ranking priest or a meeting house of such priests.
Another highlight will be a Superb Dogon, Wakara Style, Female Ancestor Figure from Mali (est. $200/300,000). Within the corpus of Dogon statuary, examples of the Wakara sub-style are exceedingly rare; only three other figures by the same hand are known. Also among the works on offer from the Sosland collection will be a Superb Bamana Ntomo Mask from Mali attributed to the “Master of the Antelopes” (est.$100/150,000). In 1978, Ezio Bassani identified a group of 57 Bamana sculptures that he believed were created by the same workshop, called the “Masters of Segou.” Bassani went on to identify three distinct hands within the workshop: the “Master of the Slender Figures,” the “Master of the Bird of Prey Profile,” and the “Master of the Antelopes.” The Sosland Mask is a magnificent work by the “Master of the Antelopes,” and one of only seven masks known to exist by this maker, most of which are in museum collections, including the British Museum in London and the Musée
du Quai Branly in Paris.
PRE-COLUMBIAN ART HIGHLIGHTS
The Pre-Columbian works included in the sale will offer collectors a strong selection of gold, wood, ceramic and stone artifacts from established private collections. Leading that selection will be an Important Nayarit Seated Couple in the Ixtlán del Rio Polychrome Style from the Protoclassic period, ca. 100 B.C-A.D. 250 (est. $250/350,000). The couple, from a private American collection, is a magnificent example of the chiefly couples or clan rulers as depicted in ancient West Mexican ceramic art, and has been exhibited