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Sotheby’s Auction African Arts 30 April 2024

Sotheby’s Auction African Arts 30 April 2024

Sotheby’s Auction African Arts 30 April 2024, 4:30 PM CEST – April 30, 20243:30 PM•Paris

Photo from: https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2024/arts-dafrique-de-la-collection-jean-paul-chazal?locale=en

Celebrating African Art: The Jean-Paul Chazal Collection

Sotheby’s Auction African Arts 30 April 2024 – Sotheby’s is holding the auction of African Art from the Jean-Paul Chazal Collection, in partnership with François de Ricqlès Conseil, with the generous support of Pierre Amrouche and Alain de Monbrison.

Jean-Paul Chazal, a distinguished presence in the world of African art collecting, has made a name for himself with his discerning eye and expertise not only in art but also in copyright and press law.

In his collection, a distinct preference for Sub-Saharan African art and its intricate wood and metal craftsmanship shines through. Rarely witnessed before, the collection showcases a range of miniscule objects and adornments crafted from iron, copper, and bronze, particularly featuring micro-masterpieces from various cultures such as the Akan, Ashanti, Gan, Lobi, Dogon, Kulango, and Senoufo.

Closely connected with prominent gallery owners and collectors, this collection resonates with the legacies of individuals like Doctor Pierre Harter, whose Bamana monkey mask, considered the crown jewel of the collection, bears his name.

It also reflects the influences of figures like René Rasmussen, known for his famous Senoufo mask and a rare Baga bird figure, as well as the significant contributions of pioneering women in African art, such as Hélène Leloup and Maine Durieu, among others, who have left an indelible mark on Chazal’s generation.

Singe ngon ou sula, Bamana, Mali | Bamana Ngon or Sula Monkey Mask. Measures 23cm in height. 


Collection Pierre Harter (1928-1991), Paris

Collection Jean-Paul Chazal, Paris, ca. 1990

Unique in its kind and perfect in its proportions and execution, the Harter mask can be classified among the great masterpieces of Bamana art and of African art as a whole.

Photo from:


Jean-Paul Chazal (1944–2023)

“Those who seek to understand and know themselves can find in traditional African art the transitional objects they need to fill the voids they have endured: ancestors, a symbolic connection to the mother figure […] There they can find roots and a sense of peace.”
– Jean-Paul Chazal

Jean-Paul Chazal possessed a discreet yet resolute nature as a collector. While he found excitement in auctions, he often preferred to remain unseen, either behind a telephone, in the dim recesses of an auction hall, or through proxy bidding. There was a resemblance to Balzac’s character Pons in this collector’s avoidance of the spotlight.

While African art undeniably held a prominent place in his collecting journey, it was not his sole passion. He showed equal fondness for sculptures by Jacobsen as he did for Dogon iron pieces. His keen discernment transcended boundaries, just like his deep sense of humanism, which was enriched by a continuous flow of literary exploration.

For further reading, follow the link to Sotheby’s website:


If you’d like to browse some of the pieces of Gallery Preira’s collection, you can follow the link to our catalogue here:


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