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Benin Bronze Queen Mother's Head Edo Nigeria 9 Inch African Art

Product #: 102348
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Title Benin Bronze Queen Mother's Head Edo Nigeria 9 Inch African Art
Type of Object Bronze Cast Queen Mother's Head
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Edo
Materials Brass / Bronze
Approximate Age 20th century replica based upon plaques dating to 1550 to 1650.
Dimensions 9.5 inches tall x 3.5 inches wide x 6 inches deep
Overall Condition Good.   Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair holes, tarnishing, wobbles

Addition Information: A Benin Queen Mother's head modeled after the original dating originally approximately 1550 1750 A.D.

The famous royal center of Benin in Nigeria produced a number of remarkable objects and bronze heads cast in bronze including the original of this 20th century copy that was also cast in Nigeria.  Benin City was the center of power for the Edo people and the place of residence for the Oba, the ruler. This bronze cast head is of  the Queen Mother, who was the mother of the Oba, the ruler at Benin, who still rules today.  This head is modeled after a cast bronze original and is shown on a well decorated base.. Her large headdress was composed of a network of precious coral beadwork.  Her hairstyle is presented with complex curls and braids.  It is a well sculpted figure marked by the fine detailing of the face, hair and crown and a high degree of naturalism uncommon in African sculpture. Facial markings under and between the eyes are lightly worked onto the surface of the face, That this is a replica cannot be doubted, but what is important to note is that the skill of the Nigerian bronze and brass casters of today who cast this head continue a tradition nearly 500 years old at Benin and have not lost their skill in producing interesting works of art.  Though a late example of Benin Art it is finely worked and cast with great skill. 

Recommended Reading:

Drewal , H. J. and J. Pemberton III, with R. Abiodun Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought, (New York, 1989)

Drewal, H. J. and M. Thompson Drewal., Gelede, Art and Female Power among the Yoruba. 1983.

 Fagg, W. and J. Pemberton III: Yoruba Sculpture of West Africa, (New York, 1982)

Lawal, B.: The Gelede Spectacle. Art, Gender, and Social Harmony in an African Culture. (Seattle, London 1996)

Mato, D., Chelsea Cooksey, Yoruba: Art of Life. The Bennett-Luther Collection, Denver 2004 

Witte, H.: A Closer Look; Local Styles in the Yoruba Art Collection of the Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal. 2004.