Ethnographic Collector

A ninety-two-year-old Holocaust survivor born in Hamburg, Germany, Mark Lissauer spent forty years travelling abroad for months at a time collecting ethnographic artefacts primarily from New Guinea and the islands of the West Pacific, and from Asia and Himalayan countries.  Fluent in five languages and having in the course of business travelled to more than forty countries, Mark is well-known to museums and art-collectors around the world for his long career and his interesting and diverse collection of rare ethnographic material.

113Mark knows the origin and symbolism of each piece. Through extensive research and more than ninety trips around the globe, Mark familiarised himself with the traditions of the various cultures he visited in order to understand the meaning of each object to its region and tribe. His home has a specialist library and several rooms are filled with tribal carvings, textiles and ethnographica.

He acquired his first tribal piece in 1948 during a business trip to Milne Bay, New Guinea, and has since documented the acquisition of some 35,000 items. Several thousands of these have been sold to important private collections and museums worldwide, including the Rockefeller Museum, the British Museum and the Musée National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, now incorporated into the Louvre Museum.

His collection covers a wide cultural range of material that has now become extremely rare.
The Mark Lissauer Collection will be auctioned in Melbourne as part of our Classic Furniture & objects auction on the 31st of May 2015.

Chiara Curcio
Specialist, Classic Furniture & Objects
(03) 8825 5635 / 0412 653 315