A beautiful Benin bronze head which represents a warrior with a Portuguese helmet. The face is of a younger man, with rounded features, wide-open eyes with raised rims, a short nose and full lips that are slightly parted, while each cheek is decorated with three “whiskers” that originate at either side of the mouth to honor the leopard, one of the main symbols in Benin art. The round chin has a small dimple. The hair, which comes out from under the helmet, is cut short and frizzed; Thick layer of dark encrusted patina, small dents at the top of the helmet, a small hole at the right edge of the base.
Lit.: Ezra, K. 1992. Royal Art of Benin: The Perls Collection. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, US. Bacquart, J. 1998. The Tribal Arts of Africa. Thames and Hudson, UK. Phillips, T. (ed). 1999. Africa: The Art of a Continent. Prestel.
The Benin Oba employed a guild of artists who all lived in the same district of the city. The bronze figures ordered by the king were kept in the palace. The majority of figures represented court officials, equestrian figures and other warriors. The representations of these objects were mainly used to glorify the king, the queen-mother, the princes, the royal household and the army. Following the British punitive expedition to Nigeria, about three thousand brass and wooden objects were consigned to the Western world. From this time on, Western scholars, artists and collectors were amazed by the quality and magnificence of these objects.
800 – 1.000,- Euro
Height: 23 cm
Weight: 2,05 kg