Oceanic Art Stars in Sotheby’s Paris Sale

  • Maori Figure with hair
  • Photo by WestImage - Art Digital Studio
    Rarotonga Island Staff Photo by WestImage - Art Digital Studio
  • Photo by WestImage - Art Digital Studio
    Uli Figure Photo by WestImage - Art Digital Studio
  • Photo by WestImage - Art Digital Studio
  • Photo by WestImage - Art Digital Studio
  • Karen Cakebread

The Frum Collection of Oceanic Art—52 items in all—is to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in Paris on September 16. Billed as the most significant assortment of Oceanic art to come to market in the last 30 years, the works from Polynesia and Melanesia include precontact pieces (made before Europeans arrived on the scene), which are the rarest and most highly valued in this category. The late Murray Frum, a Canadian real estate developer, spent 50 years assembling a diverse art collection that extended from pre-Columbian Mesoamerican pieces through art deco, and he was recognized not only for his philanthropy but for his discernment when it came to acquiring objects.

Highlights of the collection include a Maori figure with hair, one of only six known and representing the link to a Maori ancestor’s power (about 16 inches high; estimated at $2 million to $2.7 million); a god figure that would have made up the upper part of a staff, and which survived the zeal of the missionaries who destroyed most of these in the 1800s (about 19 inches high; estimated at $1.3 million to $2 million); and an uli memorial figure of a clan leader from New Ireland, part of Papua New Guinea (about 55 inches high; estimated at $950,000 to $1.3 million). (www.sothebys.com)

From Around the Web...
A rendering of the new Christie's center in Beverly Hills.
Set to debut in April, the 5,400-square-foot center will feature two floors for sales and events…
More than 100 of Britto’s original works will be on exhibit and for sale…
Phillips auction house’s Robert Manley shares the secrets to building a successful art collection…
The ultra-exclusive writing instrument collection abounds with diamonds and gems that twinkle like...
AP/REX/Shutterstock
The lineup of heavy hitters include articles once owned by Evel Knievel, Babe Ruth, and Jim Brown…
UI/REX/Shutterstock
Although left on the block, the psychoanalyst’s signed oath and letter can still be bought online…
The late artists’ respective pieces could bring billionaire buyers together at Christie’s in London…
Photo by Nate D. Sanders Auctions
The book contains a letter that Columbus penned about the people and places he discovered on his...
From a hunting knife to a copy of the Constitution, these items have become iconic of their owner…
Photo by Moscow The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Sergei Shchukin’s beloved art collection has not been assembled at a single site since the 1940s…