If you own old or contemporary African photographs, having them appraised by a specialist in African art will help you discern their exact value, and shed new light on them. Such photographs can be real treasures, owing to their aesthetic qualities and the information they contain. They open a door onto the past and present day of the continent.

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Photography (archival – vernacular – modern – contemporary)

African photography: a witness to history

African photography spans a fascinating temporal spectrum, capturing the continent’s evolution through time. From ancient works to contemporary African photographs, each period offers a unique window onto Africa’s diversity, culture and history.

Early African photographs, often taken at the time of colonization, document interactions between European and African cultures. These images attest to social, political and cultural change, offering a glimpse into the lifestyles and landscapes of yesteryear.

African vernacular photographs, taken by local artists or amateurs, focus on the everyday life of the continent’s societies. These often unconventional images reveal the everyday life, rituals, celebrations and human relationships, and contribute to an authentic visual history of Africa.

Another kind of photography emerged after independence. Modern African photography was marked by artists who sought to reveal another Africa. Themes such as identity and politics are explored through works that transcend stereotypes and offer subtle commentaries on African life.

Contemporary African photography continues to evolve today. It is a dynamic expression of creativity and reflection. Artists such as Malick Sidibé, Seydou Keïta and Zanele Muholi are constantly pushing at artistic boundaries, exploring subjects as complex as urbanization and changing traditions.

Appraisal of your African photographs reveals their value

Do you own old, vernacular, modern or contemporary African photographs? You may need to sell or insure them. You may also want to discover more about them. An appraisal of your African photographs will reveal their value, as well as their historical significance.

For an African art specialist, the first step is to accurately identify the photograph in question. It can then be dated, located geographically and its purpose (or what it represents) determined.

This is followed by an analysis of the work’s artistic value, as well as a study of the photographer (known or anonymous). The expert will compare your photographs with others held in museums and art galleries, drawing on knowledge of the African art market to assess the precise value of your African photographs.

Once the appraisal is complete, you will be provided with a dossier that will reveal the heritage and cultural importance of your assets!


Our 26 areas of expertise range from rock art to ancient, modern and contemporary art.