Tribal Art, Oceanic Art, New Guinea Artifacts in Bali/Indonesian
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Aug 16, 2012 10:55 AM Last Post By: ashley6
Aug 15, 2012 1:59 AM
Tribal Art, Oceanic Art, New Guinea Artifacts in Bali/IndonesianI will visiting Bali/Indonesian during September and October.
I would like some help locating dealers/galleries that sell old Oceanic/Tribal Art or New Guinea artifacts like masks, figures and shields in Bali.
Does anyone have any suggestions or contacts that may be helpful?
Aug 15, 2012 4:22 AM
1I’ve been collecting and dealing in Indonesian tribal art even before moving to Bali in 1998. Be aware that there is a very active trade here on Bali in re-creating this sort of material incorporating all sorts of clever aging techniques.
In Kuta and Legian there are quite a number of shops which specialize in these fakes and reproductions, however, one can very occasionally find authentic material now and then in those shops.
The best dealers in authentic Indonesian tribal arts fall into two general categories…private dealers that operate out of their homes, and pickers who are Indonesians from various areas of Indonesia who regularly travel to these tribal areas in search of good finds which they bring back to Bali to sell to their contacts.
I can put you in touch with some of these private dealers, but we’ll have to do this via private messages as I don’t make it a habit of broadcasting my sources developed over many years. As for us personally, we don’t have any pieces on hand that we’d be willing to part with at this time, so don’t regard this response as any sort of solicitation.
Caveat emptor, and I hope you know this material well enough to stay out of trouble.
Aug 15, 2012 4:23 AM
2I do not mean to jump in but I am looking for authticated !6-18Century Indonecian antiues that I can pick up in Bali. Shops existed 10-12 yearrs ago but last year I could find only 20th C .Thanks.
Aug 15, 2012 4:30 AM
3What sort of things are you looking for Ashley…VOC material, China trade ceramics, or pieces made here in Indonesia like early kris, stone, bronze, textiles, colonial furniture, carvings etc?
Aug 15, 2012 4:36 AM
Aug 15, 2012 4:46 AM
Aug 15, 2012 6:16 AM
Aug 15, 2012 6:21 AM
Will be traveling up Singaraja on my way to Lovina. What is the address of your shop?
Aug 15, 2012 6:27 AM
Aug 15, 2012 9:12 AM
Aug 15, 2012 4:14 PM
10I took a 3 session course 2 years ago at Christie's, one of the major auction houses of art and antiqituities so I have a little knowlege to differentiate between genuine and fake antiques. I still likely can be fooled but the items I brought back last year from Malaysia I had verified by appraiser in NYC and fortunately they were as represented, 15th and 16th Century kerises. But I now have 6 keris' , 3 Malaysian and 3 Indonesian.
What I really want but could never got because of export regulations was a 2-3 foot Thai Buddha even when visiting private collections. One of the 2 Indonesian Buddha's is nickel with silver and the other is teak. They are quite impressive but while worth a few thousand 4 and 5 Centuies old and excellent conition they are not rare and as a retiree I am no longer in a position to spend that kind of money I paid for them..
Aug 15, 2012 6:21 PM
11With all due respect, no three session course at Christies is going to provide the information and experience needed in the field of antiques/antiquities. They can be helpful introductions and they are useful for avoiding obvious fakes or reproductions, but this field is far more complicated than any three session course will provide.
Even the best scientific tests currently available, such as SEM scanning and testing for cuprite is never conclusive. And with Indonesian pieces, the field is even more complicated because of the lack of consistency in the alloy make up of gold, silver and bronze that was used here.
Incidentally, and while speaking of Christies and Sotheby, these days both auction houses catalogue Indonesian bronzes or other metal sculptures of Majapahit origin as dating, “dating 14 century or later” in their auction catalogues. Both auction houses are very well aware of the disagreement between “experts” in this field, as well as the lack of 100% reliable testing methods to prove the age of such pieces.
As for appraisers, I wouldn’t rely on their opinions either, as there simply aren’t any expert appraiser out there who are 100% totally reliable…which is precisely why they always include the caveat in their written appraisals along the lines of “in the best and most professional opinion of this appraiser.”
The best any collector can do is to familiarize and educate themselves as best as possible in the field they wish to collect. That takes many years of handling, examining and overall experience, all the while understanding that along that road they will make mistakes…as that is inevitable.
As for kris, I sure hope that no one in Malaysia said anything along the lines of the kris originating in Malaysia. Nothing will get an Indonesian’s blood boiling more than hearing a Malaysian trying to claim that Malaysia is the origin of the kris.
Also, these days, it is extremely difficult to ship a kris out of Indonesia. I only know one carrier that can do it, that being DHL, and only if the kris is sealed within a wood box/crate.
Aug 15, 2012 8:37 PM
Aug 15, 2012 8:44 PM
Aug 15, 2012 9:53 PM
14You won't hand carry a kris out of Indonesia on ANY international flight these days...no way that would be possible.
In fact, if you tried to hide it in your carry-on, or on your person, you'd likely be arrested for trying to board an aircraft with a deadly weapon, and you could surely kiss your kris goodbye.
BTW, in Indonesia, the kris has nothing to do with ANY of the martial arts.
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