Kongo-Yombe maternity figure to lead African art sale

A Kongo-Yombe maternity group figure by the Master of Kasadi is valued at $2m-3m.

It will star in a sale of African art from the collection of Daniel and Marion Malcolm at Sotheby's New York on May 7.

Master Kasadi Sothebys
The Master of Kasadi was a renowned carver of the Yombe tribe

The Master of Kasadi was an unnamed member of the Congo's Yombe tribe who displayed an exceptional skill in carving. He was active around 1900 and his work is considered the apex of the tribe's output.

This statuette displays a mother and child. It's part of a subgroup of Yombe sculptures, known as phemba, that illustrate this theme.

Another phemba figure produced during the 1930s sold for $3.5m at Sotheby's in 2014.

Jean Fritts, international chairman of African & Oceanic art at Sotheby's, commented: "The collection of Daniel and Marian Malcolm represents a lifetime of true connoisseurship in the finest tradition of our field.

"They assembled a wide collection of the highest quality as they shared the wonder of African Art with the frequent visitors to their home from both America and abroad, as well as the thousands who saw pieces from the collection in the many museum exhibitions to which they contributed."

A second sale will take place in Paris on June 22, led by an Angolan Chokwe female ancestor statue valued at $1.9m-2.7m.

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