Lot: 312

Standing female ancestor figure

D. R. Congo, Luba, Nyunzu workshop

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Chrapkowski, Gemany
Lindenmuseum, Stuttgart, Germany (Inventory no: "I C. 46229.")
Ludwig Bretschneider, Munich, Germany
German Private Collection (1967)
H: 15.7 inch 6000 EUR / 12000 EUR

light wood, black paint residues, handwritten inventory no. "I C. 46229. Manjema Chrapkowsk" (back on the left leg), inventory no. "46229" (on the back) A figure by the same master was auctioned on 14 December 1991 as lot 597 at Ketterer in Munich. Body forms and posture, head shape, hairstyle and scarification patterns of both figures show the greatest similarities. The expressive facial features are particularly striking. The nose is extremely flattened and pointed like a diamond, the mouth is fitted into the curve of the chin. The particularly voluptuous breasts and the relatively short legs resting on oversized flat feet are also striking. Another figure from the Egon Guenther collection (see AHDRC 0028297) can be classified in this canon of forms. The figures are close to works such as those published by Einstein in 1920 in his well-known work Negerplastik as fig. 79 (AHDRC 0028300), which were assigned to the Nyunzu workshop. The German administrative officer Chrapkowski was active in the former German East Africa as an advisor to the imperial government in Dar-es-Salaam. He must therefore have been there between 1885 and 1919. There is evidence that he donated an outstanding Luba work, a caryatid stool by the famous Buli master (AHDRC 0032313), to the Linden Museum Stuttgart as early as 1905.


Einstein, Carl, Negerplastik, München 1920, ill. 79
Die Kunst und das schöne Heim, April 1970, Heft 4, S. 204, Abb. 2