W.O. OLDMAN " ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE OF ETHNOGRAPHICAL SPECIMENS"

 

Item Code: OC504-31

(Biographical Background:  William Oldman was undoubtedly among the most important dealers in tribal and ethnic arts that has ever lived. He ran his business from London , and was most active between the late 1890s and the First World War. An incredible wealth of material from all parts of the world passed through his hands, including everything from artifacts and ethnographic works to art treasures from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Melanesia, Polynesia, the Pre-Columbian and North American Indian cultures, and Europe. Oldman was also a collector himself. He had a particular interest in Oceanic art. His spectacular personal collection of Maori art, some of it illustrated here, was sold to the government of New Zealand in the 1930s, and is now a cornerstone of their museum collections.

Oldman issued catalogs, mostly illustrated, on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. The current volume is a reprint of one of the only known surviving copies of the complete run of these catalogs. They include descriptions, prices and many illustrations of the tremendous variety of objects, weapons and art works that Oldman offered from New Guinea (Sepik, Papuan Gulf and other cultures), the Solomon Islands, New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Fiji, New Zealand, Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, the Marquesas Islands, Micronesia, Indonesia, China, Tibet, Japan, India, Benin, Congo and other African tribal cultures, the Americas and Europe. There is no other means available to us to view such a complete corpus of the pieces that Oldman handled. This book is extremely sought after, and the very small number of copies published comes nowhere near satisfying the demand for it. Since Oldman’s inventory covered so much ground, the book is of interest to a very wide variety of art enthusiasts and scholars.

This is a must have reference for any collector or dealer. This out of print book is very difficult to find since it was limited to just 1000 copies. They generally don't turn up for sale but I recently acquired two copies from a collection in New York City.  This book is an amazing culmination of all 130 of Oldman’s Sale Catalogues with photos, descriptions and prices which he published each month beginning in 1903. It contains artifacts from most all cultures (North and South America, Oceania, African, Artic, Asian, Australian Aboriginal and Indonesian) and is an important reference to say the very least. Oldman was a pioneer English dealer, and gentleman of his day, selling (Genuine Curiosities) as he called them at a time when only a limited few appreciated them. This copy is obviously used and does have creases and other signs of normal wear and use, but is in good condition with no torn or missing pages.  Copies of this book have fetched over $700. We offer an opportunity to acquire this important work at a reduced price.

Price:   Please Inquire about availability.  Now and again I have a copy and the price varies from $275 to $350 depending on condition.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            

                                    

                               

 

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