Ambuya (Grandmother)

c. 1989

Springstone (Serpentine)

  • 28cm (h)
  • 18cm (w)
  • 15cm (d)


Zimbabwean Shona artist John Takawira

This sculpture is being offered for sale on behalf of a private collector. The current owner’s family acquired this charming example of John Takawira’s work in the late 1980s when they visited Zimbabwe to acquire pieces for their gallery in New York, which was called the Hayden Gallery. Unfortunately, the current owner can’t find any paperwork from these original trips relating to this specific piece (which perhaps suggests it was bought directly from the artist rather than through a gallery); the lack of provenance is reflected in the asking price.

As this piece is missing its original title, the current owner has given it its current name – and ‘Ambuya’, meaning grandmother in Shona, perfectly fits the soft, rounded and slightly bowed form. It’s a title that John might well have given it himself.

The piece is signed on the base. Although we haven’t inspected the sculpture in person, Guruve is completely satisfied that this is a genuine work from John Takawira dating to the late 1980s.

It is in good condition, although there are a number of superficial marks and scratches – although John Takawira’s finishing is often less than obsessive!

Dimensions in inches 11” x 7” x 6” and weight 25lb. It is located in the USA and will be shipped from there; P&P at buyer’s expense.