Relief plate: court musician

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 illustration represents two court musicians, the left holding a spherical rattle (ukuse) and the right holding a double gong. Both wear a bonnet with pearl braids and a coral pearl collar that reaches over their lower lip. Further decorative elements are her chest straps and the ankle jewellery made of coral pearls. Her apron has been decorated with stylised heads of Europeans and floral ornaments that can also be found in the background.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 40 x 34 x 9.5 cm