Forge bellows, reliquaries, cane tops, spoons, balls of justice and masks are just a sample of the items in the collection of Dr. Jean-Claude Andrault. They reflect his desire for discovery.
Balumbu mask (Gabon) white, red and ochre wood, headdress in the shape of a rooster, 28 x 25 x 6.5 cm/11.02 x 9.84 x 2.56 in.
The pieces are diverse but they all come from the same place: Gabon. This is one of the assets of the collection Dr. Jean-Claude Andrault avidly gathered in the 1950s-1960s, kept and sold today by his family. The estimates are modest (€200/300 to €20,000/30,000). The objects, sold in their original condition, are perfectly documented in field notes by Andrault, who in the 1950s lived first in the Congo and later in Gabon. They include a Bateke wood and clay dual-faced statue with its magic charge, found on a pier in Brazzaville in 1955; an Obamba mask with a long, pointy nose found in an ebandja (temple) in the village of Massango; another, acquired from a 70-year-old Gabonese n'zebi when Andrault was working at a logging site on the coast (see photo); two Tsogho horns collected in 1965 on a trail; and a Shamaye reliquary visible in 1986 at the Dapper Museum at the "La Voie des ancêtres" (“Way of the Ancestors”) exhibition.
Tireless, curious about everything and highly knowledgeable about art, science, astronomy, geology and ethnology, this humanist crisscrossed Gabon for 20 years to treat patients, of course, but also to satisfy his passion for objects, to meet artists and people of the country and to raise awareness of African cultures among his friends. "Everything happens outside of me. I am only a vessel," he modestly said.