Joburg’s best …. places to buy African artefacts

Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse suggestions for buying local art and craft

My favourites are Art Africa for clever, creative contemporary items and Kim Sacks Gallery for contemporary porcelain and pottery and finely crafted more traditional objects :

Art Africa 62 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview 011 486 2052 Mondays to Fridays 9am to 6pm Saturdays 9am-4pm

Vibrant colour and extensive use of recycled materials, there are lots of funky items which show a real eye for design – many from self-help groups throughout South Africa. There are mirrors made out of brand name labels, copper wire bowls, bottled top handbags, beaded ornaments and great African jewellery. There are also fabulously colourful textiles, wooden mobiles, Nigerian beaded ceremonial chairs and paintings of South African brand icons (Marmite, Surf, Peck’s Anchovette) alongside large voluptuous women in the genre of Precious Ramotswe of Number One Lady Detective Agency – just gorgeous. A great place to buy gifts as there are lots of small transportable items and if you do fall in love with a larger item, Art Africa will pack and send for you. The larger items coming from all over Africa are found in the rooms at the back.

Kim Sacks Gallery 153 Jan Smuts Avenue Parkwood 011 447 5804. Mondays to Saturdays 9.15am-5pm, Sundays 10am-1pm 

Housed in a double volume mud coloured building on Jan Smuts, I’ve written about this gallery before. Beautiful quality objects – both traditional as well as pottery and porcelain by contemporary ceramicists are exquisitely and seductively displayed. There is always a changing exhibition usually with associated walkabouts so there is always something on the go. Like Amatuli. Kim Sacks will also pack and send items.

Kim Sacks Gallery Jan Smuts Ave 

Togu’na 235a Jan Smuts Ave Parktown North 011 447 7654 

Located in a great contemporary building with a large airy almost industrial space, Togu’na has some great items which are well displayed. Toguna takes its name from the structure which is found at the centre of every Dogon village in Mali. A togu’na is a meeting place where men discuss important matters and decide on public issues.

Amatuli  6 Desmond Street Kramerville 

Owner Mark Valentine has been in the business of selling African art and artefacts for almost 20 years. The store is densely packed with a wide range of items – sculptures, utilitarian items like benches, canoes, doors and doorposts and chairs, as well as textiles and clothing items like Zulu married women’s headgear, Ndebele beaded skirts and Ghanaian Kente cloths. While a lot is made specifically for Amatuli by craftspeople from all over Africa, Mark also goes on buying trips through Africa. Amatuli will pack and send for you.

Rosebank Sunday Market 

T and T Weya Art Tendai Chirwa

There are over 200 stalls which offer quality clothing, ceramics, arts and crafts, handcrafted items from all over Africa, furniture and jewellery, as well as food to eat on site and to take away. There is always entertainment offered in the form of various artists such as buskers, mime artists, stilt walkers, ceremonial bands and dancers.

The Rooftop Market is not to be confused with the Rosebank Art and Craft market 011- 568-0850  The Mall, Cradock Avenue, Rosebank, which is open 7 days a week and although it offers much of the same fare as the Rooftop Market : the mass produced colon figures from the Ivory Coast; baskets from Botswana; soap stone sculptures, verdite bowls and bead work from Zimbabwe; Kuba cloth from Zaire; milk gourds from Kenya; and of course masks from various west African countries.

Rosebank Craft Market
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