Jürgen Schadeberg (South African, born 1931) 'Nelson Mandela in his Law Office'
Lot 124* AR
Jürgen Schadeberg
(South African, born 1931)
'Nelson Mandela in his Law Office'
£5,000 - 8,000
US$ 7,800 - 13,000

Lot Details
Jürgen Schadeberg (South African, born 1931)
'Nelson Mandela in his Law Office'
signed 'Jurgen Schadeberg' (lower right); inscribed 'Nelson Mandela in his Law Office, Johannesburg 1952' (lower left), inscribed with title and date of work and impressed with the artist's copyright stamp (verso)
archival silver selenium print
34.5 x 34.5cm (13 9/16 x 13 9/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Erdmann Contemporary Gallery, Cape Town, circa 2001.
    A private collection, Cape Town.

    Literature
    B. Ceysson, L. Bénétière & F.M. Ceysson (eds.), Jürgen Schadeberg Photographies, Singapore, 2006, illustrated p.49.
    J. Schadenberg, The Black and White Fifties: Jürgen Schadeberg's South Africa, Pretoria, 2001, illustrated p.49.
    J. Schadenberg, Witness, Pretoria, 2004, illustrated p.90
    R-P. Seippel (ed.), Jürgen Schadeberg, Germany, 2008, illustrated p.52.

    This photograph is accompanied by a signed certificate of authenticity from Jürgen Schadeberg. It was printed in his dark room in Johannesburg, suggesting that it was printed sometime between 1952, when the photograph was shot, and before he left Drum Magazine in 1959.

    Mandela was first introduced to the young science scholar Oliver Tambo, on the soccer field at Fort Hare University College. Tambo's "diamond-edged" intelligence and his keen predilection for debating made an early impression on the young Mandela.

    Years later, when both men were working for reputable law firms in Johannesburg, Mandela would often visit Tambo during his lunch hour, making a point of sitting in a 'Whites Only' chair in the 'Whites Only' waiting room. During this time they mainly discussed ANC business. Tambo's prodigious capacity for work, his limitless compassion and sharp debating skills made him a talented lawyer with whom Mandela was keen to collaborate. Mandela opened his own law practice in 1952; Tambo joined the firm only a few months later.

    The photograph was taken in Mandela and Tambo's law office in Chancellor House, Johannesburg, across the street from the cities magistrate court. 'Mandela and Tambo', the name of the firm, was emblazoned on a brass plate on the office door; it was the first African law firm in South Africa.

    Mandela later reflected that the office provided a singular haven for black Africans to come for a "sympathetic ear and an ally". The discrimination and prejudice against them was so vast that it was impossible not to be caught out by the law:

    "[it was] a crime to be on the streets after 11pm, a crime not to have a pass book, a crime to have the wrong signature in that pass book, a crime to be unemployed and a crime to be unemployed in the wrong place, a crime to live in certain places and a crime to have no place to live."


    Bibliography
    N. Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, London, 1994, pp. 172- 177.
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