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Home > News, Articles & Multimedia > Worth Points > Tribal & Oceanic Artifacts Collected by Real-Life ‘Indiana Jones’ to Pace Great Gatsby’s Sale

Tribal & Oceanic Artifacts Collected by Real-Life ‘Indiana Jones’ to Pace Great Gatsby’s Sale

by Special to WorthPoint (08/01/14).

This pair of blade fetish figures (or “minkisi”) from the Congo in Africa, intended to ward off evil spirits, exact justice for victims of wrongdoing and solemnize contracts between villagers, are part of a large collection of tribal and Oceanic artifacts collected by Prof. Richard Hibler, a sort of real-life “Indiana Jones.” The collection will be part of a two-day auction scheduled for Aug. 23-24 at Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery in Atlanta.

This pair of blade fetish figures (or “minkisi”) from the Congo in Africa, intended to ward off evil spirits, exact justice for victims of wrongdoing and solemnize contracts between villagers, are part of a large collection of tribal and Oceanic artifacts collected by Prof. Richard Hibler, a sort of real-life “Indiana Jones.” The collection will be part of a two-day auction scheduled for Aug. 23-24 at Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery in Atlanta.

ATLANTA, Ga. – A collection of tribal and oceanic artifacts gathered from around the world by a noted college professor who liked to describe himself as a real-life “Indiana Jones,” and another collection of some 50 exotic African animal shoulder and full-body taxidermy mounts owned by the publisher of outdoor magazines, will co-headline an auction event planned for the weekend of Aug. 23-24 by Great Gatsby’s Auction Gallery, Inc.

The two collections will be offered on Aug. 23, while the Aug. 24 session will feature more than 500 lots of fine antique furnishings, art, porcelain and lighting from the estate of the late Wade Mathisen, plus fine property from other collectors.

“Either one of the two major collections in this auction would be headliners at any one of the premier auction houses, but to offer them both on the same day and then follow that up with a full day dedicated to quality estate merchandise is just extraordinary,” said Marie Kowalik of Great Gatsby’s. “We anticipate an aggressive in-house crowd and enthusiastic online bidders.”

Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Telephone and absentee (left) bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held the week leading up to auction.

This ancestral cult figure from Papua New Guinea measures 24 inches tall.

This ancestral cult figure from Papua New Guinea measures 24 inches tall.

This large Bambara mask for the Kore society, from Mali, measures 33 inches in height.

This large Bambara mask for the Kore society, from Mali, measures 33 inches in height.

This pair of late 19th-century ceremonial paddles are from Nigeria (circa 1875-85), each one is 67 inches in length.

These late 19th-century ceremonial paddles are from Nigeria (circa 1875-85).

This Kurumba antelope mask (or “adone”), from Burkina Faso, was worn during major events such as funerary rites.

This Kurumba antelope mask (or “adone”), from Burkina Faso, was worn during major events such as funerary rites.

This Nimba headdress from Baga, the Republic of Guinea, represents the ideal of mature womanhood.

This Nimba headdress from Baga, the Republic of Guinea, represents the ideal of mature womanhood.

This Bwa Nwantantay plank mask was worn during a yearly festival to embody supernatural forces on behalf of a clan. It is 80 inches in height.

This Bwa Nwantantay plank mask was worn during a yearly festival to embody supernatural forces on behalf of a clan.

The extensive collection of tribal and oceanographic artifacts is from the late Professor Richard Hibler who, prior to his passing about three years ago, acquired his items quite literally in the field—through a lifetime of studying primitive cultures and tribal folk lore. Professor Hibler authored two books, wrote for numerous periodicals and gave speeches on several continents.

“My father traveled extensively in the pursuit of his studies of indigenous peoples, their culture, traditions and ceremonies,” said Professor Hibler’s son, George Hibler. “These artifacts were acquired on his trips throughout Africa and the South Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Borneo, as well as on trips through Tibet, Nepal and various other exotic locales.

“My father traveled to well over 100 countries,” Hibler added. “He actually fancied himself as a bit of an Indiana Jones.”

Items from Papua New Guinea will include a pair of ancestral cult figures, one a large Biwat carving meant to represent a river spirit (44 inches tall), the other one not so large, at 24 inches tall. From Mali is a large Bambara mask for the Kore society (33 inches tall).

Certain to get paddles wagging is a pair of blade fetish figures (or “minkisi”) from the Congo, intended to ward off evil spirits, exact justice for victims of wrongdoing and solemnize contracts between villagers. The overall height, including stand, is 21 inches. Also sold will be an “adone” (or Kurumba antelope mask, from Burkina Faso), worn during major events like funerary rites.

Also from Professor Hibler’s collection: two late 19th century ceremonial paddles from Nigeria (circa 1875-85), each one 67 inches in length; a Nimba headdress from Baga, the Republic of Guinea representing the ideal of mature womanhood, 70 inches in height; and a Bwa Nwantantay plank mask, worn during an annual festival, to embody supernatural forces on behalf of a clan.

This shoulder taxidermy mount of a sable measures 52 inches tall.

This shoulder taxidermy mount of a sable measures 52 inches tall.

A full-grown man is shown next to a standing taxidermy mount of a greater kudu, impressive at 83 inches tall by 83 inches long.

A full-grown man is shown next to a standing taxidermy mount of a greater kudu, impressive at 83 inches tall by 83 inches long.

Collection of Exotic African Trophy Mounts
The collection of exotic African animal shoulder and full-body taxidermy mounts was gathered by Steven Vaughn, who traveled extensively throughout North and South America and Africa, studying wildlife and supporting hunting and fishing. His respect and appreciation for the many specimens he took is evidenced by the fine care and taxidermy he utilized to preserve each one.

Vaughn was the founder and publisher of Game & Fish Publications, which published 31 outdoor magazines covering the United States. The magazines recognized that regulated hunting and fishing provides more funding for wildlife than all other sources combined. The magazines also promoted enjoyment of the outdoors. Vaughn sold the publishing company many years ago.

Vaughn also established Fort Perry Plantation, a 2,500-acres preserve in central Georgia, the site of years of groundbreaking wildlife research. Top experts, biologists and universities utilized the private reserve to study wildlife nutrition, management techniques and habitat protection. Today, the preserve is co-managed by both the state of Georgia and the Nature Conservancy of Georgia.

Standing mounts from the collection will include a greater kudu (overall size including base, 83 inches tall by 83 inches long), a prong horn antelope (49 inches tall, 53 inches long) and a lion (50 inches tall, 78 inches long). The shoulder mount taxidermies will feature a water buck (50 inches tall), an impala (35 inches tall), a greater kudu (53 inches tall) and a sable (52 inches tall).

This pair of Italian carrara marble sculptures, signed C. (Cesare) Lapini (It., 1848-after 1891), are 25 inches tall each.

This pair of Italian carrara marble sculptures, signed C. (Cesare) Lapini (It., 1848-after 1891), are 25 inches tall each.

The fine antiques slated to cross the auction block on Sunday, Aug. 24, will feature a 19th-century Continental carved alabaster sculpture (29 inches tall by 14 inches wide), a late 17- or early 18th-century Flemish verdure tapestry (104 inches by 90 inches), and a pair of Italian carrara marble sculptures, signed C. (Cesare) Lapini (It., 1848-after 1891), both 25 inches tall.

The auction will be held in Great Gatsby’s showroom, at 5180 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern time both days. For more information about the auction or to consign items for future auctions, call 770.457.1903, email to auction@greatgatsbys.com or visit the Great Gatsby’s website.


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