Antique Tribal Art


Antique Tribal Art is highly collectable. This is especially true for pieces made for indigenous use by that culture. There are four major regions for tribal art. Oceanic or Pacific Art includes all the islands of the Pacific Ocean and Papua New Guinea. African art includes all the countries in Africa but not ancient Egypt. Native art is the name given to the art of North America and Canada. Aboriginal art is tribal art from Australia. The art from Indonesia is Asian art although some of it is tribal in origin.

Antique tribal art has numerous different object types. These objects include masks sculpture weapons and utilitarian objects. The most collectible Antique tribal Art objects are sculpture and masks. Anything that depicts a god ancestor or deity, has an face or is surreal tend to be more valuable

I buy and sell Antique Tribal Art. If you have a piece of antique tribal art to sell please feel free to contact me. If you just want to know what your antique tribal art is or what it is worth that is fine. I am always happy to see new pieces.

Although I specialize in Oceanic and Aboriginal Antique tribal Art I have good contact with experts in all fields.

Collectible Antique Tribal Art


The most important factor in determining if a piece of antique tribal art is collectible is whether it is for indigenous use or made for sale. For every indigenously used piece of antique tribal art, there are a dozen later examples that are later tourist examples. Collectors of Antique tribal Art collect old indigenously used pieces.


Collectors tend to specialize in one art area because there is just so much to learn. Some may even specialize in one Antique tribal art type like Aboriginal Clubs or  Pacific Paddles

Antique Tribal Art by Region



NW Coast Tribal Art

NW coast art produces some of the most sort after sculpture and masks in all of Antique Tribal Art. Some of the best-known works come from the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian.


NW coast art produces some of the most sort after sculpture and masks in all of Antique Tribal Art. Some of the best-known works come from the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian.

Plains Native American Head Dress

Native American Antique Tribal Art

Native American tribal Art can be roughly divided into three main groups.

Plains Art consists mainly of weapons blankets adornments and clothing.

Yu’pik mask

Canadian and Alaskan Tribal Art

The Yu’pik produced some of the most haunting and collectible masks. Ancient Okvik walrus tusk sculptures are also rare and sort after.



Snow Goggles

Ancient walrus Ivory sculpture

Luba Stool

African Art


African art has the largest number of collectors. This is partly because so many European countries once had colonies in Africa. It is also because Africa produces more sculpture than any other area.


Fakes are quite common if African art and these are not just tourist pieces but pieces made to look older than they are. Due to the number of high quality fakes provenance of pieces is often important.


Africa material often has a very dark or black patina. Some of the oldest material oozes oil from generations of handling.

Fang Ancestor Sculture

Dan Mask

Benin Bronze Sculpture

Yaure mask

Maori House post figure

Oceanic Tribal Art


Oceanic art can be roughly divided into two regions.

Polynesian art which is the most collectible and Melanesian which includes New Guinea and New Caledonia.

Very little sculpture comes from Polynesia and even fewer masks. Most Masks come from Papua New Guinea.

The Polynesian material tends to be more refined and better finished and is more valuable.


Yipwon Sculpture Sepik River PNG

Solomon Island Figure

Easter Island Figure

Turama River Sculpture

Papua New Guinea

Queensland Rain forest Shield

Aboriginal Tribal Art


Aboriginal tribal art has relatively few collectors but these few collectors are passionate. The majority of collectible Aboriginal antique tribal art is weapons. Aboriginal art that is not old or indigenously used can also be very collectible but is not really Antique Aboriginal tribal art.

Some aboriginal art is of a secret and sacred nature and is not shown at museums. It is often not traded in Australia but is often sold in Europe and America.

Darling River Boomerangs

Selling Antique Tribal Art



If you are thinking of selling Authentictribal Art then you should use a specialist. The majority of antique auctioneers do not know much about Antique Tribal Art. As a result, they often describe things wrongly and pieces often drastically undersell. I buy many underpriced pieces of tribal art from auction every year.



Tribal Art Value

It can be quite daunting to find out the value of a piece of Authentic Tribal Art. It is best to find a person who specializes. Often dealers will pay well for pieces especially if they are old and indigenously used.

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