This caryatid stool depicts a kneeling female figure, with typically raised arms supporting the seat structure. The head of the figure is small, with the body - and in particular, the legs - exaggerated in size. Aluminium strips highlight both eyes, which is a unusual feature and a indication of its possible age. Tribal scarification's adorn the females stomach. The darker colour variations of the wood has been achieved by scorching. The stool has only a small amount of surface patina, the wood is heavy, dry and old.
Ex Private Collection, Germany
Estimated Period: 1940's -1950's (Possibly Before)
Despite their functional form, royal stools are never used for sitting but, rather, are sacred insignia preserved within a king's palace. They serve as metaphorical, not literal, seats of kingship. The design of Luba seats of leadership may either be abstract or figurative. Those incorporating female caryatids give expression to the Luba conception of the female body as a spiritual receptacle that supports divine kingship.
Metropolitan Museum 'Royal Seat (Lupona): Female Caryatid' https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/310760