Art plays an important role in the lives of the various tribal communities of Africa. Starting from birth to death, every occasion of human life is represented in some form of art. This universalism of African tribal art makes it popular even in the midst of an art world dominated by renowned contemporary artists in a highly modernised and urban society.

Tribal art is manifested in various forms such as original paintings, jewellery, masks or pottery items. The uniqueness of African tribal art lies in the fact that it has a unique significance and is not intended simply as an item of beautification.

African masks, statues and original paintings have an inherent meaning and every possible step is taken by contemporary artists of African tribal art to keep that essence alive for future generations. The beauty and simplicity of this ethnic art form compels many people to build their own private collections of art pieces.

However, you need both time and money if you are passionate about collecting these pieces. Collecting rare African art crafts can be fulfilling and challenging. Here are some valuable tips for African tribal art collectors:

Analyze the piece

If you are buying an item of art from a museum, you can check the finer details of it then and there. If you are buying from any online art gallery, make sure you are dealing with a reputed gallery with genuine credentials. During delivery check the piece properly. That would also help you to find out whether it has been well cared for or not.

Ethnical provenance

It is important to know the ethnical provenance of the art piece as there is a lot of difference between the art forms of various regions. Moreover, depending upon the region, the art of different tribes come in different price ranges.

Lineage

Tribal art is as old as the civilisation. The older the art piece, the higher is its value in the market. For instance, to purchase an African tribal art piece that dates back to the thirties, you would need to do a lot of research and pay a much higher price.

Maintenance

To keep the glory of any tribal art piece intact for a long duration, it needs proper maintenance. Always remember that extensive restoration at times leads to the decrease in the value of a particular piece.

The ‘Rare’ factor

All tribal art collectors have a desire to possess some rare art pieces in their collections. For finding an authentic, collectable-quality rare piece of art, you need to have an eye for quality and scarcity. Finding a rare piece is not that easy but if you search properly, you can come across some such pieces.

Dimension

Tribal art pieces come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. If you are a true lover of art, size must not matter to you much. What actually should matter is the rarity of the art piece and its quality aspect.

Auction prices

At auctions, buyers many a time bid on emotions which sometimes leads to a much higher price for a particular piece. In reality, the particular piece may not actually be of such high value. Higher prices do not necessarily guarantee superior quality. In that respect, buying from an art gallery, either online or offline saves you from the rigours of bidding and the price tag is also realistic.

African tribal art pieces are definitely a collector’s item. If you want to add some pieces to your collection, browse around reputed galleries and keep in mind these above mentioned tips.



Source by Kathryn Dawson

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