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NAK 1011-5

Antique Horse Harness Buckle, Nigeria, Benin

H: 11 cm (4,3″), W: 8,5 cm (3,3″)

This bronze horse buckle has most likely belonged to a royal person (Oba).

The extraordinary bronzes of the Benin kingdom, in what is now Nigeria, exhibit a virtuosity and sophistication of style that has astonished the Western world since they were visited in the 15th Century. Their work was brought to Europe following a punitive expedition by the British in 1897, causing a great sensation.

The people of Benin are known for their remarkable bronzes. Almost all Benin art was created to honour the king, or Oba, who reigned, with his ancestors, from the 15th century. Styles have changed over the years.

These objects are made by the lost wax process that involves the making of the object in wax first. Clay is packed around the wax, then the wax is melted out of the clay, and molten bronze is poured into the hollow mould.

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