Relief plate: Portuguese with crossbow

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 small-format plate is the oldest in the Leipzig collection and shows a European who is characterized by his long hair and beard. With his left hand he grips the hilt of the sword. In his raised right hand he is holding a crossbow. There is also a two-pronged tension fork on his belt. In addition to the representation of the European, the thin-walled plate is also provided with ornaments of various sizes, which represent a cross inscribed in a circle.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 30.5 x 17.5 x 2.5 cm