Relief plate: dignitaries and European heads

Physical Chareteristics
The relief plate is part of the cultural and artistic heritage of the presumably 800-year-old Kingdom of Benin. The kingdom, which is located in what is now southwestern Nigeria, was conquered by the British in 1897 and the courtly works of art came to Europe as spoils of war. Bronze relief panels covered the pillars of Oba’s palace in Benin City. The panels show aspects of court life and bear witness to the history of the kingdom. The plate shows a dignitary with an unwenrhiontan staff surrounded by three heads of Europeans. The heads of Europeans are characterised by their long hair and full beard. The figure wears a helmet decorated with pearls and a seven-row pearl collar that extends over the lower lip. There are also decorative elements on the knuckles and ankles and his apron has a geometric pattern. The background of the plate is adorned with floral ornaments.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 36 x 48 x 4.5 cm