Lot: 327

Chiefs stool "kiti ya sultani"

D. R. Congo, Zula/ Zimba, "Master of the square hands"

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Christie's Paris, 11 December 2007, lot 263
Dalton - Somaré, Milan, Italy
Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels, Belgium
H: 16.3 inch;
D: 26/ 10.6 inch (seat)
18000 EUR / 30000 EUR

wood, base Three more chief stools can be attributed to the same master. One of the works is from an old American collection (collection W. D. Rourke, Seattle) and is shown in Robbins / Nooter, 1989, p. 470. For two more works, see AHDRC 0032279 and 0032280. Art of the Zula was strongly influenced by the Luba empire, but only a few objects have survived due to their conversion to Islam led by Sultani Omari around 1875. The only objects that seem to have survived are the "kiti ya sultani", or chiefs stools. As thrones, they symbolized the chiefs power and continuity.


Robbins, W. M. & Nancy I. Nooter, African Art in American Collections, o.O. 1989, p. 470, ill. 1209 Felix, Marc L., 100 Peoples of Zaire and their Sculpture, Brussels 1987, p. 211