Medium: One of a Kind Hand Carved Bronze Dimensions: Height: 2.1 feet/25 inches, 64 centimeters (including stand) Length: 9 inches, 23 centimeters Region: Nigeria, West Africa Tribe: Benin Kingdom Approximate Age: 32 years (1988) Availability: In Stock, Available to Ship Immediately Item Number: BR003 Collection: Benin Kingdom Provenance Report: "Benin Kingdom King" Tear Sheet: "Benin Kingdom King" Condition: Excellent; Not previously owned; Undamaged Sourcing: Fair Trade Certificate of Authenticity Provided Custom-made mask stand included with your purchase
The Benin culture is known for creating superb bronze sculptures to honor its Obas (or kings). In this case, the Oba is shown wearing a hat. Memorial heads such as this were meant to capture the essence of the Oba's power, and were placed on shrines with other important objects. A hole in the top of the head would have held a carved elephant tusk chronicling the activities of the honored Oba. The vast array of castings in bronze and leaded brass taken from the palace of the Oba of Benin in 1897 have been dispersed throughout Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. The interest generated by these artworks, along with the ivory carvings and coral regalia, has been a major factor in the development of Benin studies.
When you purchase this piece, you are purchasing a piece of history, namely the fascinating and majestic history of Benin City. A little-known fact is the world’s largest man-made structure was made in Nigeria. Its length was over 9,900 miles, about four times that of the Great Wall of China. The Wall of Benin was used for defense of the historical Benin City, now the capital of the present-day Edo State of (southern) Nigeria. The Benin Walls were ravaged by the British in 1897. Other accomplishments of the Benin Kingdom are their disciplined army, infrastructure, and of course, royal artworks.
More significantly, perhaps, is that art from Benin has come to represent the achievements of the Nigerian peoples to reaffirm links to the autonomy of a precolonial past.
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