After the record sale result of a Sapi-Portuguese salt-cellar in 2008, it is very interesting to see two others pieces showing up on the market.
A couple of weeks ago in Paris, Sotheby’s’ Arts de Afrique et d’Oceanie sale in Paris had on offer a rare cup with four caryatid-like figures. It sold for 168,750 euros.
The major authority in this field – Ezio Bassani – wrote the catalogue note:
“Although it is part of the previously mentioned corpus [of Afro-Portuguese ivories], it is however to my knowledge, a unicum within the world of Sapi-Portuguese artwork. (…) In fine, the variety of Sapi-Portuguese ivories never ceases to surprise us. When we came to believe that we have seen every possible solution that was ever invented by Sapi sculptors, a new piece emerges, which broadens an already very rich panorama and makes it even more stimulating.”
The other was advertised at the Apollo Magazine by the dealers Entwistle. Unrecorded at the Bassani/Fagg catalogue raisonne of 1988, it has its finial missing – it seems – but it is a magnificent, extraordinary example. We will not see the likes of it on the market for a long time.