Relief plate: warrior with companion

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 deep relief of the plate is adorned by two figures with a sword and a hairstyle made of thickly twisted curls into which pearls are woven and a goatee. The figure on the left is shown much larger and has a richer ornamentation of the sash and a bell that adorns the sword’s edge. His significantly smaller companion wears an ovibiovu belt over his apron, the leaf-like ends of which fall over his left hip. The characteristic floral elements cover the background of the plate.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 52.5 x 39 x 8 cm