African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Benin Rider

Benin rider figure Bini Edo (N° 12972)

The African art of Benin is described as a court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as Oba. The tradition of bronze classroom objects from the Benin Kingdom dates back to the 14th century. The many brass heads and statues created by the artists of Benin were reserved for the exclusive use of the inhabitants of the royal palace and, more often than not, placed on altars consecrated by each new Oba. These rectangular altars were surmounted by heads, statues, carved ivory tusks, bells and sticks. They were used to commemorate an oba and to get in touch with his spirit. The craftsmen of Benin also produced figures of horseriders, representing according to interpretations either a benign king or a Yoruba emissary of the oyo cavalry. It could also be Oranmiyan, which imported the horses around 1200 to Benin. At the Oba Esigie, which also made its appearance every year perched on a horse followed by a procession of servants, the King of Portugal sent in 1505 a frame and a silk and linen costume decorated with coral beads. One arm of the character is missing. Dark patina with greenish inlays. (Source: Benin, ed. Snoeck)  

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Originex-collection française
EthnyBénin
Countrynigéria
Material(s)bronze
Height cm43
Width22 cm
Weight3.00 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1950

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