Chief’s Head

Grey Limestone

  • 47.5cm (h)
  • 17cm (w)
  • 29cm (d)


portrait photo of Boira Mteki

Boira Mteki


We are advertising this imposing sculpture for sale on behalf of a private collector in the UK. Boira Mteki was not a prolific artist and his sculptures rarely come onto the open market. This piece is a super example of the style for which he is best known, of striking busts with wide lips and fierce eyes.

The current owner acquired it at auction in 2017. Sadly, there was no information with the sculpture. For ease, we have used the title ascribed to it by the owner.

Although it has no provenance, it was in an auction with some old Sylvester Mubayi pieces from the 1970s. Therefore it may well be that it dates to that era by association. Perhaps someone living in what was then Rhodesia amassed a collection that they later brought back to the UK.

Grey limestone is a hard stone that is difficult to sculpt. Certainly, it would have been a real challenge for Boira working back in the 1970s before the artists routinely used power tools as they do today. Boira discovered a source of limestone just outside Harare, and many of his pieces from that era are in this unusual material. This piece has accretions of another pinkish-brown mineral and lines of a black mineral within the stone. Both are entirely natural and not flaws.

For those more comfortable with imperial measurements, dimensions are 18 3/4” x 6 3/4” x 11 1/2” and weight 56 1/4lbs.