The sculpture depicts a slave market somewhere in the Orient round about 1800, where an Arab slave trader puts his ware up for sale. His target market is the Sultans, who bought female slaves for their harems, to serve as concubines or who might be lucky enough to become one of his wives. The women are from different nations and races – Muslim society was not race or colour conscious. The women differ further in age and physique.
They are real people from different walks of life, captured and carried away from their homes and loved ones. They are all resigned to their fate, inwardly battling the humiliation, hurt and shame. Although they are sharing the same predicament, everyone’s attention is turned inwardly, each one solitary in the contemplation of her own sorrow. The standing girl is the youngest and the prime exhibit of the day. She is from Abyssinian origin, a firm favourite under slave traders because of their women’s reputed beauty. Abyssinian slaves were much sought after and fetched high prices.
Slightly bigger than half life size
Individual figures from this composition are available as separate sculptors