"Stools are among the most important symbols of Luba kingship, as they are for many African peoples. Not only is the Luba king's palace referred to as a "seat of power", but seating is a metaphor for the many levels and layers of hierarchy that characterize Luba royal prerogatives.
"There are two principal types of Luba stools. Almost all of those that have entered Western collections are caryatid stools, supported by single or occasionally double female figures.
"Stools are such potent emblems that they are often kept secretly in a different village from their possessor's home, to diminish the possibility of their theft or desecration.
"As the receptacle for a king's spirit, it is not primarily a functional seat as such. The infrequency with which these stools are viewed reinforces the idea that they are intended not for human eyes (at least not primarily), but for those of the spirit world."
Mary Nooter Roberts and Allen F. Roberts
Extract from: Memory: Luba Art and the Making of History
© 1996 The Museum for African Art
Luba stool #01 • Katanga, Zaire • Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren • Inv. # EO.0.0.30359 • H. 45 cm • Reproduced in Rochefort et le Congo (Musée du Pays de Rochefort et de la Famenne, 1969), fig. 22
Luba stool #02 • Private collection • H. 55 cm • Reproduced in Design en Afrique. S'asseoir, se coucher et rêver (Musée Dapper, 2012), p. 46
Luba stool #03 • Master of Sopola, Middle Luvua, DRC • Private collection • H. 36 cm • Reproduced in Fleuve Congo: Arts d'Afrique Centrale, Correspondances et Mutations des Formes edited by François Neyt (Musée du Quai Branly & Fonds Mercator, 2010), p. 371
Luba stool #04 • Kongolo, Shaba, Zaire • Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren • Gift of F. Wens • Registered in 1955 • Inv. # RG 55.100.1 • H. 59 cm • Reproduced in Masterpieces from Central Africa: The Tervuren Museum (Prestel, 1996), fig. 83
Luba stool #05 • Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren • Inv. # EO. 0.0.17193 • H. 49 cm • Reproduced in Art of Africa: Treasures from the Congo edited by Joseph Cornet (Editions Arcade, 1971), p. 193 • See also #1095 from the Ross Archive of African Images
Luba stool #06 • Shaba, Zaire • Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren • Collected between 1893 and 1896 • Inv. # RG 28.669 • H. 52 cm • Reproduced in Treasures from the Africa-Museum, Tervuren (Royal Museum for Central Africa, 1995), p. 193
Luba stool #07 • Ankoro, Shaba, Zaire • Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren • Formerly in the collection F.L. Michel; acquired between 1898 and 1900 • Inv. # RG 23137 • H. 50 cm • Reproduced in Treasures from the Africa-Museum, Tervuren (Royal Museum for Central Africa, 1995), p. 194-5
Luba stool #08 • 'Maître de Buli le Jeune' • Collection Felix, Brussels • H. 52 cm • Reproduced in Masterhands - Mains de Maîtres edited by Bernard de Grunne (BBL, 2001), p. 213