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Authenticite is the first European group of fine art experts specialized in antique furniture, art, sculptures, paintings, drawings, jewellery, antique, modern and contemporary objects.

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News releases

Barbier-Mueller collection at auction

Column Appraisal and valuation, African & Oceanian Arts

At the end of March next year, the auction house Sotheby's France and the independent expert Jacques Blazy will disperse the most prestigious private European collections of pre-Columbian art. Journalists, curators, dealers and collectors all already call the sale the event of the century.
In 1920, the amateur of modern paintings Josef Mueller (1887-1977) acquired a sculpture in Paris of Chalchiuhtlicue, Aztec goddess of fresh water. Thus was born a collection that Jean Paul Barbier (1930), son in law of Josef Mueller, will lead to a level of excellence unmatched.

Estimation achat vente arts premiers
Céramique aviforme / Culture tarasque, 1200 - 1500 apr. J.-C. / Etat de Michoacán, centre-ouest du Mexique
The Spanish discovered this unique collection together in a exhibition organized for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America. The cultural event was so successful that the Barcelona mayor asked for a five-year loan renewed three times: in 1997, Queen Sofia inaugurated the Museo Barbier-Mueller de Arte Precolombina, the only of its kind in Europe.

Expertise gratuite vente art precolombien
Figure féminine en terre cuite / Culture Chupicuaro, 500 av. J.-C. – 200 apr. J.-C. /Etat de Michoacán, centre-ouest du Mexique
For 15 years, the Barbier-Mueller Museum exhibited some 350 masterpieces representative of all the cultures of pre-Columbian America. A number of these pieces are known internationally, especially to have been published in the annual magazine Arts & Cultures. We note a female figure in terracotta from Chupicuaro culture, a Maya mask in green stone decorated with a hieroglyphic inscription, a ceramic aviforme Tarascan, a feline head Moche in gold alloy / silver / copper, a funeral urn anthropomorphic from Lower Amazon...

Precolumbian specialist appraisal  
Détail d’un poteau funéraire (?) en bois / Culture Chimu, 900 - 1470 apr. J.-C. / Côte nord du Pérou
In 2010, the city of Barcelona tried to purchase the museum and its collection estimated at over 20 million. But the sale collapsed due to the economic downturn.
Erik Le Bras, African and Precolumbian art specialist

To go further ?
  • Art millénaire des Amériques : de la découverte à l’admiration, 1492 - 1992, catalogue d’exposition, Saint-Paul de Vence, Fondation Maeght, 1992
  • Arts précolombiens de l’Amérique centrale : dans les collections du musée Barbier-Mueller de Barcelone. Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, catalogue d’exposition, Paris, Maison de l’Amérique Latine, 2001
  • Amazonie précolombienne : dans les collections du Museo Barbier-Mueller de Arte Precolombina, Barcelona, catalogue d’exposition, Genève, Musée Barbier-Mueller, 2002
  • Trésors de la céramique précolombienne : du Museo Barbier-Mueller de Arte Precolombino de Barcelona, catalogue d’exposition, Lausanne, Fondation de l’Hermitage, 2003
Auction: Friday 22 and Saturday 23 March 2013
Where: Sotheby’s France - Galerie Charpentier, 76 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris.

Feel free to contact our fine art specialists if you want to appraise your works of art. We also assist you in the selling of your works of art : consultancy.

Images: © Museo Barbier-Mueller
Main illustration : Récipient ovoïde en terre cuite / Tradition Marajoara, 400 - 1350 apr. J.-C. / Île de Marajó, delta de l’Amazone, Brésil