How the objects we choose to place in our interiors can also teach us about humankind.

The items in AU’s collection have been chosen because of their style, their sustainability and their aesthetic.

However, each piece – whether it’s a table, a lamp or a sculpture – comes to us already possessing a story of its own.  Before it becomes a part of our own personal heritage, learning about an object’s history and valuing its provenance teaches us much about the place from which the object originated.  Taking a closer look at the history of an object means we can marvel at the skill of those who designed and handcrafted it, gaining deeper insights and perspectives into the lives of our fellow human beings.

These African headrests, from the private collection of Terence Pethica, are one such example.  In style they are unique to areas of southern Africa, but at the same time, part of a global tradition dating back millennia in which people have found ways not only to preserve hairstyles whilst they slept, but also, simply, to have something upon which to rest their heads.  It seems that since the dawn of time, humans have fashioned ‘pillows’ out of whatever material they have to hand: clay, wood, stone, bamboo or a cotton casing filled with feathers.