Classics from the Rickli Collection

French aesthetics of the 80s

René Rickli Collection

He was one of the "quiet enthusiasts" involved with black African art, as it was then known in 1989, for the opening of the exhibition "Afrika Maske und Skulptur". René Rickli (1909-2013) and a small circle of Solothurn private collectors opened their collections to the public for the first time 30 years ago in Olten, Switzerland. They refrained from supplying any provenance information, the focus of the exhibition should be judged on their own merits.


Auction in Wurzburg:
Saturday, 29th of June - 2 pm
Preview in Wurzburg:
June 26 to 28 - from 10 am to 7 pm
June 29 - from 9 am 2 pm


Photo: Rotary-Magazin 12-2013


Published works:
Afrika. Maske und Skulptur", Ausstellungskatalog Historisches Museum Olten, 26 August - 15 Oktober 1989, kuratiert von Dr. Karl-Ferdinand Schädler


The leading African specialist in the German-speaking world, Dr. Karl-Ferdinand Schädler from Munich, curated the exhibition. Under his aegis and contrary to first expectations no overall collection show was developed. His choice fell on "the most objectively significant works of these private collections", which stood up to the concept of African art as "universal art" and placed the artwork itself in the foreground.

The present offer (46 lots) from the René Rickli collection shows nine works from the exhibition, all documented and published in the accompanying exhibition catalogue from 1989. They include a very early and rare 12th century terra cotta figure of the Sao (Chad), a relic guard figure "mbulu-ngulu" from the Kota / Ndassa, three Hemba figures (DR Congo), and four “okuyi” / "mukudji" face masks from Gabon and a bronze crucifix of the Bakongo from the early 18th century.