Soledad OBrien: Tourist Kuba Mask & Lulua Sculpture
Both of the pieces are Congolese, but they're made by two different tribes. The mask is made by the Kuba, and the standing figure is probably made by the Bena Lulua people. The problem with both of these pieces is that they were made for resale. The great differentiation in African tribal art is whether or not the object was made for ritual use or if it was made for resale.
It's designed as if it's for ritual use, but really only to sell to tourists.
That's right. So the mask is in the style of a Kuba complex mask. It is made for, for resale. And obviously the same goes for the Bena Lulua figure. The Lulua people are very well-known for their figures. We know that this isn't made for ritual use because it's very, very large, number one. Usually the ones that are known to be for ritual use are much smaller. And it doesn't have any arms, that's another giveaway. But one of the reasons why we do know it's probably made by the Lulua is because it has the scarification all over it. If I was to give a value, it would probably be at auction somewhere between $150 and $300 a piece...
Yeah, and... probably what I paid for them, I would guess. And I think also-- and then, to repair them was more... (laughs) I would never sell them in a million years. And also, I don't think anybody would care about the backstory like I would.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
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