Alexandre Biaggi to present "Arts of Gabon"

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Alexandre Biaggi to present "Arts of Gabon"
Left: Balumbou Mask Wood, 28 cm x 25 cm x 6.5 cm. Year of collection: 1958. Low estimate: €8,000. High estimate: €12,000. Right: Tsogho statue. Wood, beads, glass, fabric. 37 cm x 12 cm x 9.5 cm. Year of collection: 1963. Low estimate: €1,500. High estimate: €2,000.

PARIS.- On the occasion of the auction of Dr. Jean-Claude Arnault’s exceptional collection of African art, which will be sold off on September 28th at Drouot, Charles Édouard Delettrez wished to rediscover the spirit of a great collector by soliciting the talents of Alexandre Biaggi, who spontaneously signed up to the role of curator, decorator and art lover with his sensitivity and skill.

By drawing from the treasures of the decorative arts of the 20th and 21st centuries, the antique dealer and furniture editor has created the perfect environment to exacerbate the fascination of these works of art from Gabon.

What better setting than Alexandre Biaggi’s gallery, located in the heart of the Parcours des mondes - an international exhibition of extra-European, Asian and archaeological art, to which he responds with the courtesy and politeness he never fails to show.

Appraised by Bernard Dulon and put up for sale on Wednesday 28th of September at the Hôtel Drouot, this collection of «Arts of Gabon» chosen and staged by Alexandre Biaggi also demonstrates the virtuous ambition of the GROS &


The collection of artworks from Gabon - and sometimes from Congo - assembled by Dr. Jean-Claude Andrault appears to be unique and exceptional, in the etymological sense of the term, within the private collections that we have been given to know or to approach.

It was created in the 1950s and 1960s by a lover of Africa during his incessant wanderings on the tracks or through the bush of the territories he had chosen to explore. His eye was that of an initiate of forms and colors, his mind that of a doctor who diagnoses each piece. Its geographical unity, the plastic quality of the pieces and the field information that accompanies them give this collection a museum-like quality.

Thus, most of the works on offer today are accompanied by notes providing a great
deal of information on the dates, places and circumstances of their acquisition, and, when possible, on their ritual functions. In some cases, the name of a sculptor is even mentioned.

These field notes are published in extenso in the present catalog in the same form that Dr. Andrault wished to give them. This implies some notable modifications of the spelling of certain names of ethnic groups, villages or places.

With this dispersion, Jean-Claude Andrault, despite being a misanthrope, shares with us his love for Africa and its artists, and finally his love for human beings.

- Text by Bernard Dulon, expert for this sale

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