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Bryan Reeves has been actively dealing in African tribal art and adornment for more than twenty-five years. Progressing from a market stall and shop on Portobello Road in the early 1990s, to a London-based gallery of more than twenty years, namely ‘Tribal Gathering London’. During this time he has been constantly refining his eye. 


Tribal Gathering London

335 Ladbroke Grove

London W106HA

T - + 44 7939166148


1. Woven wicker storage basket.

    Wagogo people, Tanzania.

Made in two parts with the top interlocking with the bottom to form a secure container for dried food storage. The two central bands decorated with beautiful animal motifs are a rare feature in this type of basket.

D – 38 cm. H – 33 cm


2. Terracotta container depicting a pig.

     Pare culture,Tanzania.

The container would have been used by a traditional healer to store dried traditional medicines.

There is a large circular opening on top of the body. The container has an old crackled patina from extensive ritual use over the years.

Mid-20th century.

L –  32 cm.


3. Mask.

    Luba culture, DRC.

A large dynamic mask depicting the elephant of the forest.

Part of the ‘Luba Zoo’ series of animal masks depicting animals of the forest which first surfaced on the western art market from the 1960s onwards.

This mask is a early example,circa 1950’s or before.

L -  52 cm


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4. An unusual animal mask depicting a wild cat or mouse.

Makura culture, Tanzania.

Wooden mask, decorated red, with inserted animal teeth and strands of tiny glass beads below the nose.

Ex private German collection.

Mid 20th century.

H – 30 cm.


5. Headrest/small stool.

    Lotuko or Toposa people, Sudan.

Zoomorphic in form with an arched back and three supporting legs, with a beautiful rich patina.

L – 26 cm H – 17 cm


6. A finely cast bronze pendant of a lioness.

Baule, Ivory Coast

Ex Seward Kennedy collection London.

First half 20th century.

7 cm x 4.5 cm

SOLD -  4EH0 -

7. A fine animal mask depicting a hyena.

    Bambara culture, Mali.

The mask has a wonderful primal expression with an errored and weathered surface. These features are what may have drawn the artist, Herman, to this piece.

 Ex Josef Herman collection. London.

 L – 45 cm.


(Note the photo of the artist in his London studio with the mask hanging on the wall, top right corner above the picture)

8. Animal mask depicting a hunting dog.

Makua culture, Tanzania/Mozambique.

Ex Walter Hekster collection, Amsterdam.

Walter Hekster was a famous musician and composer who had a keen interest in tribal art from Tanzania and the surrounding region.

Published. Yale GVR no: 0077943

L – 20 cm


9. Western Pende mask. DRC.


A finely executed mask with a heart-shaped face, carved with two curved animal horns, and decorated with red and white pigments.

 Ex private collection Maryland. USA.

First half 20th century

 H -31 cm


10. Prestige staff.

WaHaha people, Tanzania.

Beautifully shaped staff with an animal head depicting a ‘wild hare’ with two pointed ears. Prestige staffs like this were carried by the owner and rested on his left shoulder. They were a symbol of rank and title.

Lovely dark glossy patina.

Mid 20th century

H - 70 cm


11. Fine bronze porcupine.

      Benin, Nigeria.

In West Africa, the porcupine is a revered animal. Like the crocodile, the porcupine is seen as an invincible warrior. The Asante say that it can shoot its spines at an enemy and generate new spines to continue the battle. The highly conventionalized saying associated with the porcupine is, “If you kill a thousand, a thousand will come.” (Reference - University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art)

Late 19th - early 20th century.

Ex private collection UK

L - 22 cm


12. A fine prestige hatchet.

Makonde, Mozambique

The top of the shaft is decorated with geometric designs and a carved horned animal to one side.

Metal blade. Beautiful patina.

Ex private collection UK. First half 20th century.

H –  49 cm


13.Wooden granary door lock depicting a crocodile, a symbol of protection.

Bambara culture, Mali.

Full-length crocodile with fine criss-cross decorations. (Comes with the wooden cross latch).

Mid 20th century.

 H – 55 cm.


14. An early cutting board with animal-like features.

Gurage culture, Ethiopia

The board has wonderful abstract animal-like features. The pointed edges are thought to represent cow udders with a carved head and legs on either end.

When not in use the board would have been hung on a wall with the ‘udders’ showing outwards.

Height  – 55 cm

Price  – £580

15. Large wooden food bowl.

Lozi tribe, Zambia.

 A fine double bowl with a lid decorated with two carved ducks.

 The lid fits tightly to the bottom section. The base is carved from one piece.

Traditionally used as a duel serving and storage bowl.

The animals depicted on Lozi bowls like this are often species that are found inhabiting along the shores of the Zambezi River.

Mid 20th century

L –  53 cm


16. Stool.

Ashante, Ghana.

A fine large stool characterizing the power and strength of the elephant.

Ex private collection UK.

H -  55 cm . L – 58 cm.


(Condition report - small corner missing on the curved seat )

17.Wooden mask in the form of a pangolin.

Ekpeye people.

Igbo, Nigeria.

Headdresses like these are made by members of the Egbukere society, the primary men’s association of the Ekpeye, a people in south eastern Nigeria usually included as a subgroup of the Igbo people. Until at least 1966, the Egbukere society’s major celebration each year was a three-day event during the dry season that features feasting and vigorous dancing wearing large headdresses. Because the pangolin (scaly anteater) resembles both a reptile and a mammal, the Ekpeye regard it as a special creature existing in two separate worlds and as a symbol of transformation. The Ekpeye regard the blacksmith as holding a similar place among humans: he magically transforms earth (iron ore) into metal (iron). Thus, the pangolin is the blacksmith of the animal world. Though large in size, the headdress is carved from lightweight wood and hollowed for ease of wear. Reference Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

L – 102 cm


18. Stool depicting a bird of prey.

Ashante, Ghana.

Lovely smooth golden patina.

First half 20th century.

 Ex private European collection.

L – 60 cm H – 45 cm


(Condition report - restorations in parts)

19. Collection of bronze animals.

Two - Gold weights. (center and right) 19th century.            Akan, Ghana. 

                        £150 each

One - Buffalo pendant.(center left) Burkina Faso.

           1st half 20th century.


One – Bronze monkey. (left) Baule. Ivory Coast.

           1st half 20th century.


One - Bronze gold dust box. (left-back)  Akan,           Ghana.  Late 19th/early 20th century.


One – Bronze ring of a horseman. (center back)    Dogon, Mali. First half 20th century.


20. Fine early portal door.

Baule culture, Ivory Coast.

A carved wooden portal door decorated with natural pigments (now faded), depicting a large swordfish with a baby fish in her mouth.

 Exhibited Cercle Volney, Les arts Africans, Paris 1955.

Early 20th century

 H –  117 cm


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