Pair of Benin Style Bronze Sculptures of Leopards - CK.0033 - For Sale

Pair of Benin Style Bronze Sculptures of Leopards - CK.0033
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The ancient Kingdom of Benin (not to be confused with the modern nation state of Benin) was situated in southern Nigeria. The people of Benin, known as the Bini, were ruled by an Oba, or king. Benin City (known as Edo to the Bini) was their fortified capital from which the Obas carved out their territory and controlled of lucrative trade routes. Commercial links with Europe via the Portuguese were first established in the late 15th Century, ushering in a Golden Age of wealth, power, and prestige for the Obas. Eventually, the Kingdom would succumb to the ravages of colonialism, when in 1897, the British launched a punitive expedition that destroyed the “great city of Benin” as it was once described by the Portuguese. Ironically, the destruction of the city and the pillaging of its artistic treasure ultimately exposed the West to the sophisticated sculptural traditions of Benin and led to a tremendous curiosity and appreciation of their culture. Today, the magnificent creative legacy of the Kingdom of Benin is considered to rank among the finest works of art on the African continent and beyond, on par with the contemporaneous masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque Europe.The art of Benin is the product of an urban royal court. As such, it is meant to symbolize and extol the power,mystique, grandeur, endurance, and continuity of the ruling dynasty. As the role of the Oba became increasingly ceremonial, their art evolved into an instrument of the state. Sculptures in ivory, wood, and bronze depict the Oba festooned in ornate robes and beaded necklaces alongside attendants and guardians. Foreigners (mostly Portuguese) are also occasionally represented, demonstrating the extent of the Oba’s authority. The Oba himself is often symbolized by animals including the leopard and the mudfish. Pair of Benin Style Bronze Sculptures of Leopards - CK.0033Origin: Nigeria Circa: 20 th Century ADDimensions: 11.75" (29.8cm) high x 4" (10.2cm) wide x 10" (25.4cm) depth Collection: African Style: Benin Medium: Bronze

Decorative Interior
Antique Statues
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405 North Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills
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