Plaque

A work made of brass.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of brass.

Date:

16th/17th century

Artist:

Edo, Kingdom of Benin
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

Ivory, brass and coral have long been highly valued in the Benin kingdom (established about 1300). At one time all such materials were owned by the oba, or king, who distributed them to chiefs, title holders, and other important individuals. The warrior in this brass plaque, one of many from the magnificent royal palace complex in Benin City that was destroyed by fire in 1897, wears a coral-studded cap and high coral-beaded collar, indications of his high rank. The raised horseshoe shape in the upper left corner of the plaque represents a copper or brass ring, called a manilla. Manillas manufactured in Europe were used as a form of currency and, when melted, provided an important source of brass for Benin royal casting.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Edo

Title

Plaque

Origin

Kingdom of Benin

Date

1501–1700

Medium

Brass

Dimensions

33.9 × 28.8 × 4.7 cm (13 3/8 × 11 3/8 × 1 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Samuel P. Avery Fund

Reference Number

1933.782

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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