Prestige Stool (Kipona)

late 18th - early 19th century
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luvua Valley Region
Luba peoples, identified as the Master of the Warua or the Kunda
Wood, glass beads
H. x W. x D.: 16 11/16 x 9 1/8 x 8 7/16 in. (42.4 x 23.2 x 21.4 cm)
Credit Line:
The University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia
Not on view
This prestige stool and the bowl-bearer also on view in the exhibition were acquired by the Belgian colonial officer Joseph Van den Boogaerde in the Kongolo territory of Eastern Congo between 1913 and 1916. How Charles Vignier came across them remains a mystery, but by 1919 he was in possession of several works from this source and sent them to the De Zayas Gallery.
This insignia of leadership is a masterpiece of Luba art. Striking for its perfectly balanced proportions and exactingly carved features, its creator is only known to us as the Warua Master. Ten works have been attributed to this 18th century artist, including stools, bow stands, and power figures.
Joseph Van den Boogaerde, Enghien-les-Bains, before 1913-1916; Charles Vignier, Paris, before 1919; Marius de Zayas, New York, 1919