$1.9 Million for African Mask Once Owned by André Breton

Gouro mask from Côte d'Ivoire once owned by André Breton Photo: Drouot


A Gouro mask from Côte d’Ivoire, which was once owned by French surrealist writer and poet André Breton, sold for more than a million euros on Wednesday, making a new record for a Gouro mask. The mask, one of the favorites of the famous poet, was sold at Paris’ Drouot for €1,375,000 ($1,865,710), 10 times its presale estimate of €100,000-150,000 .

Expert of primitive art and gallerist Bernard Dulon explained to the Parisien that the success of the sale of the mask is due to both the quality of the work and its provenance. Breton had acquired the mask from the collector Paul Guillaume. The mask can be seen in two photos from the 1920s in Breton’s salon, one of which is signed Man Ray.

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