24 Enwonwu The Glory of Ancient Benin'Enwonwu The Glory of Ancient Benin'. (Photo: Bonhams)Anyanwu by Nigerian sculptor and painter, Ben Enwonwu, will be up for auction at the Bonhams Africa Now – Modern Africa sale in London on 15 February 2017.

Th 6ft 10 high statue (below) crafted by the artist is estimated at £150,000-200,000. Ben Enwonwu (1917-1994) first conceived of Anyanwu- the Igbo word for ‘sun’ – in 1954, when he was appointed to create a work marking the establishment of the National Museum in Lagos, outside of which it still stands. “My aim was to symbolise our rising nation. This sculpture is spiritual in conception, rhythmical in movement and three dimensional in its architectural setting – these qualities are characteristic of the sculptures of my ancestors.”

Also included in the lot is 'The Duet'a piece by the Nigerian painter Yusuf Grillo (b 1934) estimated at £70,000-100,000. Grillo creates graceful elongated figures using rich yet serene colours. Grillo’s Mother of Twins sold for £146,500 in May 2016 setting a new world record at auction for a work by the painter.

A wooden sculpture by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui (b 1944) 'On Grandma's Cloth' the estimated at £50,000-80,000. In May 2016 Used Towel by El Anatsui sold for £176,500, establishing a new record at auction for a wooden sculpture by the sculptor.

29 Enwonwu Anywanwu elite living africa Anyanwu by Ben Enwonwu. (Photo: Bonhams)