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Nelson Mandela, His Hands in Gold (Collection)

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Nelson Mandela, His Hands in Gold (Collection)

Lot 0001 Details

Description
In 2002, Nelson Mandela collaborated with one of South Africa's foremost gold mines and sat while every detail of his hand was meticulously captured in 99.99% pure gold to raise funds and awareness for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. The result of this collaboration are the four gold castings offered here. Guernsey's is privileged to present to the world four gold casts of Nelson Mandela's hands - the only such sculptural works in existence. Weighing between 77 oz. and 149 oz. each (2.7 kgs. And 4.6 kgs.), this unique and important collection includes two powerful fists - one inscribed "1964", the year he was first imprisoned, and the other "1990", the year of his release. The other two sculptures, an open hand and a full hand impression set in a solid gold block, also commemorate his final year in prison.

Deeply engraved with Mr. Mandela's signatures, the four Gold Hands weigh a total of 12.409 kg (27.35 lbs.). Remarkably detailed, one can feel Mr. Mandela's fingerprints and the very scar the beloved Madiba sustained while imprisoned on Robben Island. The Hands are handsomely and individually presented in rare Kiaat wood (South Africa) cases. Each hand is a treasure; as a collection, it is nothing short of remarkable.

Nelson Mandela

A figurehead of modern democracy and equality, Nelson Mandela is recognized globally for his work in furthering human rights. In June of 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for his involvement against the South African apartheid regime. He would not be freed until 1990. Upon his release, Mandela quickly rose to political prominence for his role fighting against apartheid and became South Africa's first black president. In 1993, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize honoring his "work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."

Now a global icon, Nelson Mandela is one of the most widely celebrated, respected, and beloved men of our time. Warmly referred to as "Madiba" - a term of endearment in South African culture - the world mourned as Mandela was laid to rest in 2013 at the age of ninety-five.

Presentation

These exquisite sculptures are presented in Kiaat boxes, a rare South African wood, bearing solid brass panels which state each casting's respective commemorative year. One panel provides words Mandela shared with the world over the course of that year. The other panel lists each hand's weight and purity, serial number, and other details relating to the specific sculpture. All are also accompanied by a document stating their authenticity issued by the maker, Harmony Gold.

Process

Harmony Gold, the South African gold company listed on the NYSE and one of the world's most prominent gold mines, worked closely with Mandela to create these works. A team from Harmony visited Mr. Mandela at his Houghton home to embark on the challenge of creating a high precision cast of Mandela's right hand. Using the most advanced technology available at the time, they initially developed a prototype (which was later melted down) to test different methods of production. Settling on a vacuum process, the resulting castings carry with them the most intense details of an almost impossible nature. Every fingerprint on the castings is more distinguishable than if one were to look at their own.

The Symbol of the Hand

Historically, Mandela's raised fist symbolized solidarity and support in his fight against apartheid. Upon release from prison on February 11, 1990, he raised his fist towards the sky, an act that spoke to the gathered crowd louder than words. It is not by accident that the two striking fist sculptures have his thumb positioned to the side, rather than across his fingers, as the former signifies victory while the latter is interpreted as a sign of aggression. The open hand sculptures stand as a symbol of unity and reconciliation - an important message in the post-apartheid nation.

Celebrated and respected as one of the most beloved men of our time, Nelson Mandela thought of the hand as a symbol of unity and history. To Mandela "hands are not so much about my life as they are about my country."

Inquiries about the Nelson Mandela Gold hands should be directed to Guernsey's (212-794-2280, auctions@guernseys.com), the auction house known for often presenting historically significant collections. Indeed, it was Guernsey's multi-year effort that guided the Rosa Parks Archive to the Library of Congress.
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Nelson Mandela, His Hands in Gold (Collection)

Estimate $10,000,000 - $20,000,000
Mar 02, 2020
Starting Price $1,000,000
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0001: Nelson Mandela, His Hands in Gold (Collection)

Lot Passed
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Est. $10,000,000 - $20,000,000Starting Price $1,000,000
Nelson Mandela's Hands Cast in Solid Gold
Mon, Mar 02, 2020 7:30 PM EST
Buyer's Premium 25%

Lot 0001 Details

Description
...
In 2002, Nelson Mandela collaborated with one of South Africa's foremost gold mines and sat while every detail of his hand was meticulously captured in 99.99% pure gold to raise funds and awareness for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. The result of this collaboration are the four gold castings offered here. Guernsey's is privileged to present to the world four gold casts of Nelson Mandela's hands - the only such sculptural works in existence. Weighing between 77 oz. and 149 oz. each (2.7 kgs. And 4.6 kgs.), this unique and important collection includes two powerful fists - one inscribed "1964", the year he was first imprisoned, and the other "1990", the year of his release. The other two sculptures, an open hand and a full hand impression set in a solid gold block, also commemorate his final year in prison.

Deeply engraved with Mr. Mandela's signatures, the four Gold Hands weigh a total of 12.409 kg (27.35 lbs.). Remarkably detailed, one can feel Mr. Mandela's fingerprints and the very scar the beloved Madiba sustained while imprisoned on Robben Island. The Hands are handsomely and individually presented in rare Kiaat wood (South Africa) cases. Each hand is a treasure; as a collection, it is nothing short of remarkable.

Nelson Mandela

A figurehead of modern democracy and equality, Nelson Mandela is recognized globally for his work in furthering human rights. In June of 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for his involvement against the South African apartheid regime. He would not be freed until 1990. Upon his release, Mandela quickly rose to political prominence for his role fighting against apartheid and became South Africa's first black president. In 1993, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize honoring his "work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."

Now a global icon, Nelson Mandela is one of the most widely celebrated, respected, and beloved men of our time. Warmly referred to as "Madiba" - a term of endearment in South African culture - the world mourned as Mandela was laid to rest in 2013 at the age of ninety-five.

Presentation

These exquisite sculptures are presented in Kiaat boxes, a rare South African wood, bearing solid brass panels which state each casting's respective commemorative year. One panel provides words Mandela shared with the world over the course of that year. The other panel lists each hand's weight and purity, serial number, and other details relating to the specific sculpture. All are also accompanied by a document stating their authenticity issued by the maker, Harmony Gold.

Process

Harmony Gold, the South African gold company listed on the NYSE and one of the world's most prominent gold mines, worked closely with Mandela to create these works. A team from Harmony visited Mr. Mandela at his Houghton home to embark on the challenge of creating a high precision cast of Mandela's right hand. Using the most advanced technology available at the time, they initially developed a prototype (which was later melted down) to test different methods of production. Settling on a vacuum process, the resulting castings carry with them the most intense details of an almost impossible nature. Every fingerprint on the castings is more distinguishable than if one were to look at their own.

The Symbol of the Hand

Historically, Mandela's raised fist symbolized solidarity and support in his fight against apartheid. Upon release from prison on February 11, 1990, he raised his fist towards the sky, an act that spoke to the gathered crowd louder than words. It is not by accident that the two striking fist sculptures have his thumb positioned to the side, rather than across his fingers, as the former signifies victory while the latter is interpreted as a sign of aggression. The open hand sculptures stand as a symbol of unity and reconciliation - an important message in the post-apartheid nation.

Celebrated and respected as one of the most beloved men of our time, Nelson Mandela thought of the hand as a symbol of unity and history. To Mandela "hands are not so much about my life as they are about my country."

Inquiries about the Nelson Mandela Gold hands should be directed to Guernsey's (212-794-2280, auctions@guernseys.com), the auction house known for often presenting historically significant collections. Indeed, it was Guernsey's multi-year effort that guided the Rosa Parks Archive to the Library of Congress.

Contacts

Guernsey's
212-794-2280
65 East 93rd Street
New York, NY 10128
USA
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