One of late Nelson Mandela’s drawing detailing his prison cell door on Robben Island has been sold for $112,575 at a New York art auction. 


The Nobel peace laureate sketched ‘The Cell Door, Robben Island’ having spent 18-months in his prison cell. It was completed in 2002 and kept by Pumla Makaziwe Mandela, his daughter, until it was sold on Thursday.

Bonhams, a privately owned international auction house, announced the sale of Mandela’s drawing on its official Twitter handle.

‘The Cell Door, Robben Island’ is one of the few works by the first black president inspired by his fight against apartheid, especially in South Africa.


Jailed for 27 years, Mandela did a total of 20 to 25 drawings before his death in 2013. Reports have it that some of his drawings were reproduced as lithographs to raise money for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1962 following the Rivonia Trial. He served 27 years in prison, split between Robben island, Pollsmoor prison, and Victor Verster prison, in South Africa.

At New York’s African art sale, the anti-apartheid revolutionary leader had his drawing as one of the six works that were valued above $100,000.

‘Malay Girl’, a drawing by another late South African artist earned the highest auction price. His 1946 portrait was sold for $312,575 at the art sale.


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