Joseph Olabade Bead Picture, ca. 1975
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:18)
Antiques Appraiser and Consultant
GUEST: My grandmother purchased it in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1981 from the artist Joseph Olabade. Olabade. For $500.
APPRAISER: The artist wrote a note.
APPRAISER: Can you sum up what the note says?
GUEST: Yes, these are fishermen fishing in a sacred river, and you're not supposed to fish there by some sacred law and by doing so, by defying the sacred law, they have been blinded by the spirit of the river.
APPRAISER: Okay. Have you been able to do any other research on it?
GUEST: I found out that he was listed on the Smithsonian Institution's list of notable African artists from Nigeria, and really, that's all I know about it.
APPRAISER: Okay, first of all, in the last two decades, there has been a much, much greater emphasis on contemporary African art.
APPRAISER: And this piece here is actually part of a major contemporary art movement in Africa.
APPRAISER: And it's the Osogho-- that's O-S-O-G-H-O-- or Ashogbo, you see it spelled with "sh."
APPRAISER: This is in Nigeria, and this movement was started in 1962 by Ulli Beier and his first wife, Susanne, and then his second wife, Georgina, also was instrumental in sustaining the movement. But this movement gave artists a chance to come in and express themselves, and as we can see here, part of it incorporated traditional Yoruba theology.
APPRAISER: And part of it was just their expressing themselves, and what's interesting about it is how they did it.
GUEST: How did they do it?
APPRAISER: It's laid out flat.
APPRAISER: The artist bends over, and he has a strand of the beads in his mouth, and he feeds the beads down on the board.
APPRAISER: Then they're glued down. So it's really, really extraordinary. Now, we have a very unstable market right now. I'm going to say that in a gallery or at auction, I think you'd expect this to sell between $3,000 to $5,000.
APPRAISER: Which on your initial investment of $500 is pretty good.
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