African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Ifé Bronze

Ifé Bronze (N° 27605)

Late figurative bronze representing the Oni, king of Ifé city cradle of the Yorubas, wearing a very detailed crown. Nowadays the King of Ifé wears a badge of similar function, made up of a braided vertical segment ending in a pointed bulge. Such a head was attached to the top of a wooden effigy, dressed, to represent the deceased king at the funeral, then buried after the ceremony in a shrine near the palace. Black patina, residual ocher incrustations.
The city of Ife in Nigeria was in the 15th century the center of a powerful forest state to the west of the Niger Delta. Bronze work was a prerogative of the "oni" king, using the lost wax technique. These prestigious objects embodying the sovereigns were placed on the royal altars for ceremonial use. It would be an artisan from Ilé-Ifé who taught the Edo of the Benin kingdom the art of metals. The artisans of Ilé-Ifé, however, paid more attention to the resemblance of their portraits than those of Benin who seemed to cast their emblematic works in quite similar molds. The parallel folds on the neck would evoke the folds of flesh of prosperous notables, and the hollowed out parts which accompany it must have been used to fix the king's beaded veil.  


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OriginEx-collection française
EthnyEdos Bénin
Material(s)alliage de bronze
Height cm44
Width17 cm
Weight2.95 Kg

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