SITHOLE LS8508 "When you'll be crowned King" ("Large eagle") ("The eagle and the buck"), 1985 - Zulu indigenous wood on tambotie wood base - 160x103x033 cm


"When you'll be crowned King" ("Large eagle") ("The eagle and the buck"), 1985 - Zulu indigenous wood on tambotie wood base - 160x103x033 cm



The Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd., H/Office, Johannesburg ZA



Gallery 21, Johannesburg


Work exhibited:

Gallery 21, Johannesburg - 1985 cat. X09


Work illustrated:

Gallery 21, Johannesburg - ill. in colour on Lucas Sithole invitation card - Oct. 1985

Sowetan, Johannesburg - 30.10.1985, ill.

City Press Prospects, Johannesburg - 3.11.1985, ill.

Informa, Pretoria - Dec. 1985, Vol.  32 No 10, ill. + commented

"Signature Pieces" - The Standard Bank Corporate Art Collection, Johannesburg (Charlton) 2010 - ISBN 978-0-9814200-1-1, p. 205


Press review:

Vaderland, Johannesburg - 6.11.1985 commented

The Star, Johannesburg - 20.11.1985, commented



This sculpture is recorded and illustrated in the monograph published in 2015

“Lucas SITHOLE 1931 – 1994: Highlights 1966-1993” – ISBN 978-3-033-04655-9 – on pp. 134/135



Radio Interview with Lucas Sithole concerning this work



Artist's legend:

The following refers to an article in "City Press Prospects", Johannesburg, dated 3rd November,1985:

A story told in wood...

EXPLAINING the meaning of a sculpture showing an eagle and a buck's head - one of the most striking of his current works - Lucas SITHOLE told a delightful fable which could have come straight from a children's story book:

 The eagles held a gathering, at which one of them said: 

"We have been hunting for all of these years, yet not one of us has ever shown any progress. We have been hunting the same old animals over the years - chickens, rats and mice.

     "Now can some of you bring us an elephant, or a buffalo or something like that?"

     The others asked: "Why a buffalo or an elephant?"

     "So that we can eat for a few months or a whole year, and so that our children can also enjoy the  feast," the eagle said.

     The others said: "But that's ridiculous. You know very well that the weight of those animals would drag down even 30 of us."

     Then the eagle said: "Well, if given a chance, I can bring back something. But I don't want to do it for nothing."

     "Whoever brings a big feast like that here, will be crowned King," the others said.

     So the eagle went and found a buck - and began to woo it lovingly. "Look, friend, I want you to be my love. May I please take you to heaven?" the eagle asked.

     The buck said: "I've always longed to go to heaven. Is that where you live?"

     "Yes, we eagles live in heaven."

     "And would you teach me to fly? That would be most wonderful."

     "That I can do, I can teach you to fly in a day. By the time you get to heaven you will be flying on your own."

     "Oh, if that is right, I'll go with you," the buck said. (SITHOLE points to the smile on the buck's face.)

     With that the eagle grabbed the buck and they were off.

     In mid-air, the eagle said to the buck: "Lovely buck, I can feel you are going to die because now the weight is too much for me. Both of us will die - unless you do as I ask.

  "Please do me a favour - sing, cry, anything, but just don't close your mouth. If you open your mouth, it will make you lighter and we will get home. If you could just do that it would be most wonderful."

     So the buck started singing - and it was so happy that it started smiling, opening its mouth wide.

     They reached the top and the buck was shown off to the others. But it was not killed. It became the eagles' pet.

"Now," SITHOLE says, "look at the eagle. It is also smiling – the smile of success, because it was crowned King."


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