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Ubunji Kidokoro, Bamboo armchair (1937). WA Design at PAD London, 30 September-6 October. €22,000

Japanese-French Modern design represents a minimal, purest aesthetic, as typified by this bamboo chair by the Japanese designer Ubunji Kidokoro. The clean lines and cantilevered form of Kidokoros chair were to influence the French designer Charlotte Perriand's bentwood chaise longue design. Kidokoros bentwood creation was itself influenced by European design—that of Alvar Aaltos cantilevered “31” armchair (1931).

Simone Leigh, Shower Cap (2013). 20th Century and Contemporary Evening Sale, Phillips, London, 4 October. Estimate: £40,000-£60,000

Known for her work that focuses on the continued marginalisation of black women, the young Brooklyn-based artist Simone Leigh has moved firmly into the spotlight in the past three years, with solo shows at the New Museum and Guggenheim in New York, alongside winning the 2018 Hugo Boss Prize and featuring in this years Whitney Biennial. Unsurprisingly, her prices have also firmed up—works are now valued at around 15 times their 2013 estimates. This ceramic work made from porcelain, plastic and cobalt evokes ancient African sculpture, which Leigh often borrows from, combining a traditional form with political comment.

Chinese head of a Buddha, Liao Dynasty (907-1125). Rasti Chinese Art at Fine Art Asia, Hong Kong, 4-7 October. Around $80,000

This little Buddha head is unusual in that it is carved in a mottled grey jade—they are nearly always bronze. Although only 6.4cm tall, the elongated head has “a powerful physical presence comparable to Liao period gold and silver funerary masks, with the details of the eyes, nose and mouth being typical”, says Rasti Chinese Art founder Nader Rasti. At the time, China was ruled by the nomadic proto-Mongol Qidan (Khitan) people and this head, with its “pendulous earlobes”, is influenced by this culture.

Chéri Samba, Le collège de la Sagesse (2005). Modern and Contemporary African Art, Bonhams, London, 3 October. Estimate: £30,000-£40,000

Chéri Samba, who was included in the 2007 Venice Biennale, began his career as a billboard sign painter; his works often record life around his hometown of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This painting, which was bought in 2011 by a collector of Congolese art, is inscribed with text written in both French, the official language of the DRC, and Sambas mother tongue, Kikongo. The word bubble at the bottom of the canvas—a Samba signature—begins, “every nation is exalted by their own language”, a pointed reference to having pride in your native tongue.

Elizabeth Catlett, Seated Woman (1962). African-American Fine Art, Swann Auction Galleries, New York, 8 October. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000

The earliest wood sculpture by the African American artist Elizabeth Catlett to surface at auction, Seated Woman (1962) was produced in a pivotal year: she obtained Mexican citizenship and was deemed an “undesirable alien” in her home country of the US; had her first solo exhibition in Mexico; and won the Tlatilco prize in Mexicos first sculpture biennial for the work Figura (1962). Its provenance is defined by firsts, too, as it is consigned by Michigan congressman George Crockett Jr—known for founding one of the first racially integrated law firms in the US—and his wife, Ethelene Crockett, the first African-American woman obstetrician in Michigan and the first woman to be president of the American Lung Association. Swann achieved the record for Catlett in 2009 with the large-scale sculpture Homage to My Young Black Sisters (1968), which fetched $288,000.

Masanori Umeda, Tawaraya (1981). Memphis Design: the Zanone Collection, Wright, Chicago, 3 October. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.

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