Relief plate: high military leader

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. A high military leader, an edogun, is represented on this plate. He is equipped with a helmet, which is decorated with herringbone pattern and feathers. He’s holding the ceremonial sword in his right hand. He carries a sword under his left arm, of which only the handle can be seen. A sash richly decorated with bells and other ornaments runs over his chest. His necklace consists of a high coral pearl collar and a chain of leopard teeth. The background has a floral leaf pattern, with rosette motifs in the four corners of the plate.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 51.5 x 35.5 x 11.5 cm