Seated Benin Bronze Leopards


Set of two regal Leopards that were a symbol of the strength of the Oba (King) of Benin.

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SKU: brl317 Category: Tag:


These beautiful bronze leopards have been made by the Benin people since the 1400s. The extraordinary sophistication and the unique style has been admired since that time.  Almost all of the Benin bronzes were created to honor the traditional leader, or Oba of Benin, who ruled with the ancestors for hundreds of years. The leopard was a symbol of the power and royalty of the Oba. The metaphor is that the Oba and the frightening leopard are both able to strike fear into the heart of the enemy. There were many bronze sculptures in the palace of the Oba with a variety of symbolic meanings.

These leopards are very similar to the original works that were stolen by the British around 1897. They were used in rituals, as part of altars and as items for protection. This pair were sculpted by hand and then cast in bronze by the traditional lost wax process in the mid 20th century. The surface decorations are clear with the lovely patina.


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