Benin Bronze Plaque


Classical replica of a wall plaque of the Oba (Leader) of Benin

4 in stock

SKU: brp321 Category: Tag:


Bronze has been made in Africa for more than a thousand years. The Ife were the experts in West Africa.  It is said that in 1172 the Benin elders applied to the Ife people for a ruler. Shortly thereafter bronze casting was introduced into Benin life during the reign of Oba Oguola about 1280. Benin bronze pieces have been made by the Benin people of Nigeria since that time. In 1897 the british plundered Benin City and stole most of the bronze that adorned the realm of the Oba.  A large portion of the loot is in the british museum awaiting its return to Africa.

This a typical bronze plaque depicting the Oba holding a double edge ceremonial sword. Other plaques depict scenes, including animals, fish, humans, and scenes of court life.  They are cast in matching pairs, although each was individually made. It is thought that they were originally nailed to walls and pillars in the palace as decoration, or instructions on protocol.


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