Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Yoruba Ife Brass Bust of Oni Nigeria African Art 25 Inch

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Title Yoruba Ife Brass Bust of Oni Nigeria African Art 25 Inch
Type of Object Brass or Bronze bust (modern replica)
Country of Origin Nigeria
People Ife Yoruba
Materials Bronze / Brass (unknown metal content)
Approximate Age 20th century Replica
Height (in) 25
Width (in) 14.25
Depth (in) 11q
Dimensions Height: 25 Inches
Width: 14.25 Inches
Depth: 11q Inches
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 stains and tarnished metal. dents, small holes and casting flaws. dirt

From the collection of Howard Gelb, St. Paul, MN collector of African Art, who was also a businessman, lawyer, and philanthropist. Mr. Gelb died in 2015, at the age of 96.

Additional Information:

The bottom of this profound bust is lined with a felt fabric, making it ready for immediate display.

Modeled after the great Yoruba center at Ife dating originally approximately 1100 -1450 A.D. The famous archaeological site at Ife in Nigeria produced a number of remarkable objects and bronze heads cast in bronze including the original of this late replica that was also cast in Nigeria. Ife is considered to be the center and origin of the Yoruba people. This bronze cast head is of an Oni, the ruler at Ife, who still hold sway over the Yoruba at Ife today. 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 vessel continue a tradition nearly 1000 years old and have not lost their skill in producing interesting works of art.

See more information and examples in:

Augustus Pitt-Rivers, Antique Works of Art From Benin, 1900

Hagen, Dr. K., Altertumer von Benin, Jahrbuch der Hamburgischesen Wissenschaftlichen Anstalten, V. XVII, 1900.

H. Ling Roth, Great Benin, Its Customs, Art and Horrors, 1903 (1968).

Dark, P. J. C., W. & B. Foreman, Benin Art,1960.

Dark, P. J.C., An Introduction to Benin Art and Technology, 1973.

Ben-Amos, P. The Art of Benin, 1980.

Freyer, B., Royal Benin Art, 1987.

Ezra, K., Royal Art of Benin, The Perls Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992.

Duchateau, A., Benin, Royal Art of Africa from the Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna, 1994.

Anitra Nettleton (Ed), Nigeria Art. The Meneghelli Collection, 2002.