With more than 15 years of experience, Charles-Wesley Hourdé is an antique dealer specialised in ancient arts of Africa, Oceania and America.
He notably directed Christie's African and Oceanic art department, and contributed as a consultant at Sotheby's.
With a gallery situated in Paris, he is a member of the Compagnie Nationale des Experts, the Syndicat National des Antiquaires and a friend of the Amis du musée du Quai Branly and of the Centre Pompidou.
Expert, dealer, author, he is at your disposal for all acquisition, sale, brokerage, expertise, advice, and research.
Raised in a family of important Parisian dealers and collectors, Charles-Wesley Hourdé is a native of the art market. After opening a stand in the flea market in 2005, he founded as early as 2006, simultaneously to the opening of the Quai Branly Museum, a gallery specialized in African, Oceanic and pre-Columbian arts in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
From the origins of his gallery to 2010, Charles-Wesley Hourdé has participated to several international art fairs including in Paris (Parcours des Mondes, Arts Saint-Germain-des-Près), in Bruxelles (Bruneaf), in Köln (Cologne Fine Art and Antiques), New York (Tribal and Textile Arts Show), San Francisco (Tribal and Textile Arts Show), and Palm Beach (The Palm Beach Art and Antique Show).
During these five years he regularly organized exhibitions at his gallery, such as L’art africain, vous connaissez?, Pouchous, Le Pérou des Mochica, Une collection paticulière valant son pesant d’or, L’Ouest Africain.
He thus developed a precious experience that leaded him to join Christie’s in 2010. As the African and Oceanic art Department Sales Director, he contributed to multiply by three the average annual sale results over a period of five years, and took part in establishing several new world record prices. As a fine connoisseur of the artworks and their history, he enjoys writing academic studies for the sale catalogues.
His passion for research led him to be interested in the famous Japanese cabinetmaker Kichizô Inagaki who became the subject of his first article published in a specialized magazine.
Rich of this experience, he decided to become independent again and to focus himself on new projects, more personal, while remaining consultant for auction houses.
Whether you are searching to acquire artworks following your passion or for investment reasons, the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas represent a domain full of opportunity.
Rare are the collecting fields still allowing the acquisition of museum-quality masterpieces. Historic works with prestigious pedigree, unknown pieces and iconic sculptures still populate private collections. Heddle pulleys, Dan or Senufo masks, Fang or Kota reliquary figures, bronzes and regalia from the Benin Kingdom, clubs and figures from Fiji, marine ivory ornaments from the Marquesas Islands, Kanak figures, or British Colombia masks, the range of possibilities is breathtaking.
As for investment, these sculptures can represent an attractive investment. But it is necessary to be able to differentiate and select them. The dichotomy reflected by public auctions on medium and long term is an excellent indicator. While the value of high quality objects continues to rise, the value of medium and low quality pieces is stable, or even decreases. This Manichean scheme may, however, be qualified by the existence of “fashions” or “trends”, that one can take advantage of. Unless having a deep knowledge of this market, it is highly recommended to have recourse to professional advices, especially because many well-carved copies circulate.
Counting on his experience and on his network of collectors, professionals and institutions that he has cultivated since more than 15 years, Charles-Wesley Hourdé is at your disposal in order to guide you for any punctual acquisition but also for the long-term management of your collection. Feel free to contact him in order to organize a first informal appointment.
Concerned about privacy, we will only share pictures of available artworks on request.
January 2020: exhibiting at BRAFA 2020, Brussels
November 2019: Conference organised by the CNE (Compagnie Nationale des Experts): Le marché des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, de l’origine à nos jours
September 2019: exhibiting at Parcours des Mondes 2019 and publishing In Praise of the Human Form, Arts of Africa, America and Oceania, The Josette and Jean-Claude Weill Collection, 5 Continents
July 2019: FILAF Prize Winner (Festival International du Livre d’Art et du Film) - category Tribal Arts, for the book Galerie Pigalle: Afrique, Océanie.
June 2019: Consultant at Sotheby's, Paris, for the sale Collection Marceau Rivière
April 2019: exhibiting at Paris Tribal 2019
March 2019: opening to the contemporary arts of Africa with the launch of 31 PROJECT
January 2019: exhibiting at BRAFA 2019, Brussels
December 2018: PILAT Prize Winner (Prix International du Livre d'Art Tribal - Jury: Alexandre Bernand, Michel Bohbot, Philippe Dagen, Bernard de Grunne, Germain Viatte, Alexis Maggiar, Marguerite de Sabran, Elena Martinez-Jacquet, Jonathan Fogel)
November 2018: exhibiting at THE SALON: Art + Design, New York, and collaborating with Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz with an exhibition of Oceanic artworks and a wallpaper, dated of 1804, representing the Voyages of James Cook
September 2018: exhibiting at Parcours des Mondes 2018, publishing Galerie Pigalle: Afrique, Océanie. 1930. Une exposition mythique and organising the exhibition Pigalle 1930: retour sur une exposition mythique (at the Espace Tribal, during Parcours des Mondes)
September 2017: exhibiting at Parcours des Mondes 2017, and organising the exhibition L'Emprise des Masques, gathering African, Oceanic and Pre-columbian artworks sharing close affinities with the life and work of Pablo Picasso
March 2018: exhibiting at TEFAF Showcase, Maastricht, and organising the exhibition Realm of the Ancestors, showcasing a group of three masterworks from New-Ireland
May 2017: exhibiting at Art Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Bourgogne Tribal Show
April 2017: exhibiting at Paris Tribal 2017
December 2016 : opening of a permanent exhibition space at 40 rue Mazarine, Paris. Organisation the exhibition Gouro, Sculptors of Genies, accompanied by a catalogue
October 2016: participating to a panel about the Art Advisory Business with the Club Culture & Management at the Fondation d'entreprise Ricard
September 2016: exhibiting at Parcours des Mondes 2016, Paris and organising the exhibition Passeurs de Rêves, accompanied by a catalogue
2015 : expert and independent consultant, member of the Compagnie Nationale des Experts
June 2013 : TV interview about the Jolika collection, BFM Business
November 2012 : publication of the article "Kichizô Inagaki, in the Shadow of the Twentieth-Century Greats" in Tribal Art Magazine, Winter 2012, issue 66
November 2012: lecturer at Paris University 1, UFR History of Art and Archaeology
2010 – 2015 : African and Oceanic art specialist and Sales Director at Christie’s, Paris
September 2010 : exhibiting at Parcours des Mondes, Paris
June 2010 : exhibiting at BRUNEAF, Brussels
May 2010 : exhibiting at Art Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris
March 2010 : organising the exhibition Le Pérou des Mochica
December 2009 : organising the exhibition Une collection privée valant son pesant d'or, accompanied by a catalogue
November 2009 : exhibiting at Cologne Fine Art and Antiques
September 2009 : exhibiting at Parcours des Mondes, Paris
February 2009 : exhibiting at Tribal and Textile Arts Show, San Francisco, and publishing Février 2009
June 2009 : exhibiting at BRUNEAF, Brussels
May 2009 : exhibiting at Tribal and Textile Arts Show, New York
September 2008 : exhibiting at Parcours des Mondes, Paris
May 2008 : exhibiting at Tribal and Textile Arts Show, New York
February 2007 : exhibiting at l'America’s International Fine Art and Antique Fair, Palm Beach
2006 : opening of an art gallery in Paris, 10 rue des Beaux-Arts
2005: opening of a stand in the Saint-Ouen flea market, Vernaison