Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa

Timed Online Auction, 13 - 28 February 2023

Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa
About the Session

Including Property of Collectors and The Harry Kantor Collection.

Harry Kantor (1934-2019), a Capetonian, moved to Harare in the late 1950s. He supported local art institutions such as the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and Gallery Delta, serving as Chairman of both institutions. He promoted Zimbabwe's artists globally and amassed over 300 works, including European and indigenous African painters, Victorian and Chinese pieces. His collection includes significant roots of early Zimbabwean painting. Five paintings from his collection are on display at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts' exhibition "When We See Us", featuring African figurative art.

Lots 51-62 can be viewed on our current Timed Online Auction, and lot 75 in our Curatorial Voices Auction, both taking place on the 28th of February.

Sold for

ZAR 82 075
Lot 26
  • Esther Mahlangu; Beadwork II
  • Esther Mahlangu; Beadwork II
  • Esther Mahlangu; Beadwork II

Lot Estimate
ZAR 30 000 - 50 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium & VAT
ZAR 82 075

About this Item

South African 1935-
Beadwork II

signed with the artist's initials in the beadwork

glass beads
67 by 50cm excluding frame; 82 by 65,5 by 6,5cm including frame


Esther Mahlangu formed part of a cohort of artists shortlisted for the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2023. 

Dr Esther Mahlangu is a multi-award-winning visual artist, and a much loved South African cultural ambassador. She was born in 1935 and has been painting since she was 10 years old. The bold Ndebele-inspired artworks for which she is globally acclaimed grace many of the world’s most respected museum, private, public, and corporate collections. Many experts believe that any important Pan African Contemporary collection cannot be considered complete without including one of her works. 

Mahlangu grew up outside Middelburg, Mpumalanga, and learned the art of Ndebele wall painting and beadwork from her mother and grandmother. She first came to national and international prominence when she painted an installation of brightly coloured traditional geometric designs with strong black outlines for the Magiciens de la Terre (Magicians of the Earth) exhibition in Paris in 1989. She was invited to paint a design on a BMW 525i (as part of the BMW Art Car Project) in 1991 and in 2020 painted panels for a Rolls-Royce Phantom. In 2018 Mahlangu was presented with two honorary doctorates. In 2019, she was appointed an Officer of Arts and Letters, which is France's highest decoration for contribution to the arts, the Department of Arts and Culture published a book in her honour, and she received an award from the United Nations in Johannesburg. She also paints her characteristic designs on canvas at a smaller scale and teaches traditional art skills to a new generation of young artists at her art school in Mabhoko, Mpumalanga.


Strauss & Co, Cape Town, 10 October 2016, lot 518. 

Property of Collectors. 

View all Esther Mahlangu lots for sale in this auction

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