Tribal art > African bronze > Benin Cup
Ceremonial Pot Benin Edo (N° 16631)
The African art of Benin, figurative court art.
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Visual effect of great effectiveness for this composition combining horse riders and warriors armed or equipped with the ceremonial sword Eben, against a finely incised background of leaf motifs symbolizing the universe of the god Olokun.Patine golden brown, light green-of-grey footprints.
The tradition of bronze court objects in the Benin Kingdom dates back to the 14th century. The many brass heads and statues created by the artists of Benin were reserved for the exclusive use of the inhabitants of the royal palace and, more often than not, placed on altars consecrated by each new Oba or king. These rectangular altars were surmounted by heads, statues, carved ivory tusks, bells and sticks. They were used to commemorate an oba and to get in touch with his spirit. The craftsmen of Benin also produced figures of horseriders, representing according to interpretations either a benign king or a Yoruba emissary of the oyo cavalry. Some figures may be associated with Oranmiyan, who imported the horses around 1200 to Benin. At the Oba Esigie, which also made its appearance every year perched on a horse followed by a procession of servants, the King of Portugal sent in 1505 a frame and a silk and linen costume decorated with coral beads. (Source: Benin, ed. Snoeck)
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