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Plaque: Equestrian Oba and Attendants

Date:
1550–1680
Geography:
Nigeria, Court of Benin
Culture:
Edo peoples
Medium:
Brass
Dimensions:
H. 19 7/16 x W. 16 1/2 x D. 4 1/2 in. (49.5 x 41.9 x 11.4 cm)
Classification:
Metal-Sculpture
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1965
Accession Number:
1978.412.309
  • Description

    In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a remarkable series of rectangular brass plaques were cast in relief created to hang in the royal palace in Benin. A seventeenth century Dutch visitor to the court described the sprawling palace complex, with its many large courtyards and galleries: in the largest rooms, wooden pillars were covered from top to bottom with brass plaques, providing an invaluable record of the people at the Benin court. The king and the many warriors, chiefs, titleholders, priests, court officials, foreign merchants, attendants, and retainers are all depicted.

  • Provenance

    Norman Burrows, Mellon Hall, Maple Bridge, Derbyshire, UK, until 1898(?); Augustus Pitt-Rivers, Farnham, Dorset, UK, until 1957; [K. John Hewett, London, 1957]; [Charles Ratton, Paris, 1957]; [John J. Klejman, New York, 1957]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, on loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1957–1965; Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1965–1978

310752:1

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