'The Skapu Player' signed, dated and inscribed 'A van Wouw sculpt Joh.burg SA 1907' bronze 31 cm (12 3/16 in) high (excluding base)
PROVENANCE Acquired by Mr J. Stephen from the artist circa 1920 Thence by decent to current owner
LITERATURE A.E. Duffey, Anton van Wouw: The Smaller Works, (Pretoria, 2008), another edition illustrated pp.59-60
The Skapu Player was first exhibited in van Wouw's Johannesburg exhibition in 1908. The work "shows a young African man sitting cross-legged on a rock, playing his 'sekgapa' with a fiddlestick, while he absent-mindedly listens to his monotonous tune. His upper body is naked; he is only wearing wide trousers and is barefoot. The contrast between the sheen of the skin of the nude upper part of the body and the coarse texture of the flap trousers is heightened by the ingenious use of light and dark brown patinas."
The present lot demonstrates very fine modelling, particularly evident in the fiddlestick in the figure's right hand, the way the long bow of the skapu is finely fixed to the calabash, and the detailing in the knot securing the trousers, all typical of the Roman castings of The Skapu Player.
BIBLIOGRAPHY A. E. Duffey, Anton van Wouw: The Smaller Works, (Pretoria, 2008), pp. 59-60