'Bust of King Khama' signed 'Anton V Wouw' (verso) bronze, Vignali casting, 1925 51 x 40 x 29cm (20 1/16 x 15 3/4 x 11 7/16in).
PROVENANCE Arthur Barlow MP Thence by descent to the current owner
LITERATURE A.E. Duffey, Anton van Wouw: The Smaller Works, (Pretoria, 2008), pp.134, 138
South African MP Arthur Barlow founded the newspaper The Friend and Times Media. The paper commissioned van Wouw to make a bust of its founder, and it was whilst he was sitting for his bust in the studio that Barlow saw the bronze of King Khama, which he then bought from the artist.
King Khama, also known as Khama the Great, was the chief of the Bamangwato people of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), who made his country a protectorate of the United Kingdom to ensure its survival against Boer and Ndebele encroachments. King Khama is perhaps Botswana's most memorable chief.
This photograph from The Star of 14 December 1938 shows van Wouw with the larger Bust of King Khama and larger Bust of Mussolini and behind him the smaller Bust of Adolf Hitler, which he made circa 1924 (ringed).