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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world

Clive Sithole (b.1971)

Vase 2000

RCIN 94660

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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The Zulu word for the raised clay patterns on this pot is amansumpa, which literally means ‘warts’. The maker, Clive Sithole, has represented cattle instead of the usual circular or stud patterns associated with this technique. Bulls are a symbol of Zulu masculinity, so here they act as a deliberate counterpoint to the feminine nature of the pot. Until the late twentieth century, pots of this kind were made exclusively by women.

Sitholi was born in Soweto in 1971 and began his professional life as a fashion designer in Johannesburg. In 1986, he moved to Durban and joined the Babumbi Clay Project whilst also attending classes at the University of Durban. His interest in traditional Zulu pottery and firing techniques forms the basis of his ceramic work. This pot is polished with animal fat and finished using a pebble with soot and leaf-ash.

It was presented to Queen Elizabeth II at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia in 2000.