It’s African art season in London with Bonhams holding its sale last week and Sotheby’s coming up next week. The market for African art has turned slightly in the direction of Ben Enonwu who dominated Bonhams top ten list (above) with all but one of the sales. The top lot was another re-discovered version of the Tutu portrait that made £1.2m earlier this year at Bonhams. Below is Bonhams post-sale release:
Bonhams Africa Now 121-lot sale achieved an impressive £1,802,625 in London yesterday, 4 October. The sale offered a significant collection of works by Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu. His painting, Tutu, 1974, the second rediscovered portrait of Enwonwu’s famous sitter, the Ife royal, Princess Adetutu Ademiluyi, led the sale, selling for an impressive £320,750.
Nine of the top ten lots were by Ben Enwonwu, while works by Congolese artists Freddy Tsimba and Patrick Bongoy also performed well. Tsimba’s Centre fermé, rêve ouvert, achieved £12,500 and Patrick Bongoy’s,Revenants III, sold for £12,500.
The proceeds of the Congolese works were donated to the Malaika Foundation, a charity founded by the supermodel and philanthropist Noella Coursaris Musunka to empower Congolese girls and their communities; and AMADE, which provides help for vulnerable children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. AMADE is supported by Her Royal Highness Caroline, The Princess of Hanover.
Other top lots include:
Rhapsody in Blue, by Ben Enwonwu sold for £112,500 (estimate £60,000-90,000).
Enwonwu’s Ogolo, signed and dated 1992 sold for £112,500 (estimate £100,000-150,000).
Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou (Benin, born 1965) Untitled triptych, ‘Demoiselles de Porto-Novo’ seriesmore than doubled its estimate and sold for £37,500 (estimate £12,000 – 18,000).
Demas Nwoko’s Rickshaw Ride, sold for £81,250. (estimate £60,000-90,000).
Works by Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, performed well with Untitled, 2016, achieving £ 25,000 (estimate £10,000-15,000) and ‘Gri Gri II’ (2016) £32,500 (estimate £18,000-25,000).