Benin Plaque

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CMK 0406-02

Bronze Plaque, Benin, Nigeria

H: 35 cm (13,8″), W: 29 cm (11,4″)

This extraordinary bronze plaque of the Benin kingdom in what is now Nigeria exhibit tree worriers in 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, called Bini, are descended from the Ife, also known for their remarkable bronzes. Almost all Benin art was created to honor the king or Oba, who has reigned, with his ancestors, from the 15th century. Styles have changed over the years. Although similar to many older works, this is a 20th C. piece sculpted by hand, then cast in bronze by the lost wax process.

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