The snake head sculpture 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. The snake head sculpture today only represents a fragment of what was originally a huge roof sculpture in the form of a snake. The punched scales of the entire head are almost square in shape. The two spindle-shaped eyes have chiseled lids, with the eyeballs protruding outwards through their curvature. The mouth is reinforced with teeth.