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Benin ‘Nigeria’ Bronze Figural Offering Depicting Leopards and Tribesmen

US$16,000

About

Mid-20th century Benin (Nigeria) bronze figural offering depicting leopards and tribesmen Offered for sale is a modern-day Benin (Nigeria) bronze figural offering depicting leopards and tribesmen. The modern-day Nigerian people have created cast replicas of those original bronzes. The original Benin bronzes are a group of more than a thousand metal plaques and sculptures that decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin in what is now modern-day Nigeria. Collectively, the objects form the best known examples of Benin art, created from the 13th century onwards, by the Edo people, which also included other sculptures in brass or bronze, including some famous portrait heads and smaller pieces. In 1897 most of the plaques and other objects were looted by British forces during a punitive expedition to the area as imperial control was being consolidated in Southern Nigeria. Two hundred of the pieces were taken to the British Museum, London, while the rest were purchased by other European museums. Today, a large number are held by the British Museum. Other notable collections are in Germany and the USA. The Benin bronzes led to a greater appreciation in Europe of African culture and art. Initially, it appeared incredible to the discoverers that people "supposedly so primitive and savage" were responsible for such highly developed objects. Some even wrongly concluded that Benin knowledge of metallurgy came from the Portuguese traders who were in contact with Benin in the early modern period. In actual fact the Benin Empire was a hub of African civilization before the Portuguese traders visited and it is clear that the bronzes were made in Benin from an indigenous culture. Many of these dramatic sculptures date to the 13th century, centuries before contact with Portuguese traders, and a large part of the collection dates to the 15th and 16th centuries. It is believed that two "golden ages" in Benin metal workmanship occurred during the reigns of Esigie (fl. 1550) and of Eresoyen (1735–1750), when their workmanship achieved its highest qualities. While the collection is known as the Benin bronzes, like most West African "bronzes" the pieces are mostly made of brass of variable composition. There are also pieces made of mixtures of bronze and brass, of wood, of ceramic, and of ivory, among other materials. The metal pieces were made using lost-wax casting and are considered among the best sculptures made using this technique. This example probably dates to the mid-20th century but incorporates all the characteristics of earlier pieces. The bronze does show casting flaws as shown.

Details

  • Creator
  • Dimensions
    Height: 71 in. (180.34 cm)Diameter: 23 in. (58.42 cm)
  • Style
    Tribal (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
    CastBronze
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    Mid-20th Century
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. rustic with some casting flaws as shown.
  • Seller Location
    Miami, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1974317682721

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Miami, FL
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
4.8 / 5
Located in Miami, FL
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Established in 1991
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