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Antique Benin Bronze Plaque Nigerian King Oba with Warriors African Edo Peoples Tribal Ancient Artifact Art Sculpture
Antique Benin Bronze Plaque Nigerian King Oba with Warriors African Edo Peoples Tribal Ancient Artifact Art Sculpture
Antique Benin Bronze Plaque Nigerian King Oba with Warriors African Edo Peoples Tribal Ancient Artifact Art Sculpture
Antique Benin Bronze Plaque Nigerian King Oba with Warriors African Edo Peoples Tribal Ancient Artifact Art Sculpture
Antique Benin Bronze Plaque Nigerian King Oba with Warriors African Edo Peoples Tribal Ancient Artifact Art Sculpture
Pacific Fine Art

Antique Benin Bronze Plaque Nigerian King Oba with Warriors African Edo Peoples Tribal Ancient Artifact Art Sculpture

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Antique Nigerian region Benin Bronze plaque sculpture of King Oba with two African warriors on either side; tribal African artifact created by the Edo peoples. Often the Edo peoples would depict royalty with physical characteristics of an ocean creature, in symbolism. In this depiction, King Oba has sea turtle fins as feet. The bronze is fairly elaborate with details through-out, and is covered in green patina from age. Benin bronze measures approximately 14.5"W X 16.5"H. There is a small ring on the bottom in the design that has broken off long ago, and one of the tips of the "T" spiked helmets on the warrior to the left is also broken. Otherwise, this Benin bronze plaque is in very good condition for age.

Chronology:
As a result of the abrupt and violent manner in which most royal art forms of the kingdom of Benin were removed from their original context by the British in 1897, it is a dearth of documentation to situate individual works historically. This has led art historians to propose stylistic theories concerning their chronological execution. The current accepted theory is that the smallest and most naturalistic objects are the earliest, with a gradual progression toward increased size and degree of stylization. Between 1500 and 1800, the Benin kingdom gradually grew in both wealth and power, primarily through extensive trade with the Portuguese. In the arts, this expansion is manifested in a dramatic increase in the size and ostentation of royal regalia. Crowns of Edo kings grew steadily more encrusted with coral beading and this appears to have been reflected in changes in commemorative representations as well. Additionally, the largess of royal patronage decreased artisans' incentive to be judicious with expensive materials, allowing them to create ever-larger objects. Therefore, in the attempt to construct a chronology for Benin art, it makes sense that later castings would be both heavier and larger objects that conspicuously consumed greater quantities of imported brass and emphasized the more elaborate regalia.

The earliest commemorative heads have light thin walls and a tight-fitting collar that does not cover the chin. They have no beaded crown. The next or second period includes heads that are larger and heavier. The beaded collar reaches the mouth, with the addition of bead clusters to the crown. The head is far more stylized and has a wide and cylindrical shape; additionally, the cheeks appear swollen and the eyes are enlarged. In the third period, the flange is expanded and the features are further exaggerated. T are winglike projections on the crowns, which are thought to represent the ceremonial swords of the court. T are also representations of beads that hang in front of the eyes.

ANTIQUE BENIN BRONZE PLAQUE
Depicting King Oba with Two Warriors, to the left and right
Country: Nigeria, Africa, Court of Benin Culture: Edo peoples Medium: Bronze Dimensions: 14.5"W X 16.5"H
Late Period; estimated at approximately 1700

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