This cup – made to hold palm wine on special occasions – once belonged to the renowned French art dealer Paul Guillaume, one of the most important dealers of African art to the Parisian avant-garde. It originates from the kingdom of Kuba, now incorporated into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Kuba are renowned for their use of surface decoration and interlacing patterns of symbolic significance. The dense geometric, carved patterns on cups derive from textile designs. This type of patterning was keenly taken up by European artists and designers in the first part of the twentieth century.
Calvin Winner, February 2022
'Basketry: Making Human Nature', Sainsbury Centre, 2/2011 - 5/2011
'Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things', The Hepworth Wakefield, 2/2019 - 6/2019
'Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things', Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, 8/2019 - 12/2019
'Pablo Picasso: The Legacy of Youth', Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, 13/3/2022 - 17/7/2022
Formerly belonging to Paul Guillaume and then John Hewett.
Purchased by Lisa Sainsbury at auction, lot 152 in Christie's Paris sale on 10 December 2003.
Donated to the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia from Lisa Sainsbury in 2003.
Not on display
Title/Description: Kuba cup
Object Type: Cup
Measurements: h. 75 x w. 143 x d. 126 mm
Accession Number: 1272
Historic Period: 19th/early 20th century
Production Place: Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Cultural Group: Kuba
Credit Line: Donated by Lisa Sainsbury, 2003