African art > Bronze > Bronze Benin
Figure of Portuguese warrior Benin (N° 14740)
This statue of a Portuguese soldier, made according to the process of cast iron with lost wax, has a fire. Richly dressed, he wears a traditional tunic, a hip dagger, a helmet, and ankle bracelets.
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The Portuguese arrived in 15th century Benin, endowed with a military arsenal that aroused great interest among kings. The power of firearms was then naturally associated with the occult defense against invisible enemies. In the 16th century, Europeans played a major role at the Oba court: they imported corals and glass beads, shackles also highly coveted by the king and his courtiers.
At the same time, their soldiers participated in Benin's military campaigns, notably against the kingdom of Idah. The character's firewall thus attests to the presence of cannons, an unavoidable and formidable asset.
In the royal palaces of the city of Benin where the Edo lived, speaking an eponymous language, the art of bronze was exclusively reserved for the court. Before the destruction of the palace of the Kingdom of Benin City in Nigeria in 1897, the divine character of the kings, the Oba , was illustrated by multiple works celebrating their power. War scenes glorifying them were reproduced on narrative plates, in bronze, and affixed to the walls. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chefs, majestic felines, heavy bracelets, hairs and recades were produced in quantity in many workshops of smelters according to the technique of cast iron with lost wax.
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Sold for 450.00 €
This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity
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