Relief plate: two dignitaries

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. Both figures on the relief plate have been designed in the same way. Her hair is cut into several overlapping layers of rings. They wear a high pearl collar that reaches down to their lower lip. There are pearls hanging down on both sides of their heads. Their upper bodies are covered with decorative scars. Both dignitaries wear an ovibiovu belt around their hips, the ends of which are leaf-like and fall down over the left hip. In their right hand they both hold an unwenrhiontan staff, while their left hand is on the belt pommel.


Material: Brass


Dimensions: 49 x 31.5 x 6 cm