Irma Sterns Zanzibar Image of Indian Beauty to Sell at Bonhams


LONDON.- An arresting image from Irma Stern’s time in Zanzibar, where she was powerfully affected by the beauty of the local Indian women, features in Bonhams next sale of South African Art in London on October 26 and 27. There are no fewer than four images by Stern (1894 to 1966) in this sale estimated at between £1.5m to £2m for the quartet. The Zanzibari beauty which caught Stern’s eye, titled ‘Bahora girl’ is an enchanting image dating from 1945. An oil on canvas it comes with its original Zanzibar frame which adds additional interest and is estimated to sell for £600,000-900,000. Stern is quoted as saying of the Zanzibari Indians: “How differently live the Indians. Although also in Purdah their surroundings are gay and colourful. On a swing, all shiny with metal, which was hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the bedroom, I found my young friend, Fatu, the Bahora girl. She was swinging gaily when I