BENIN HEADS ARCHIVES, NIGERIA

The heads below are all SOLD. They are left here for reference and education purposes.

 

BENIN
Head 9
SOLD

 

BENIN
Head 1
SOLD

 

BENIN
Head 2
SOLD

 

BENIN
Head 3
SOLD

 

BENIN
Head 4
SOLD

BENIN
Head 5
SOLD
 

BENIN
Head 6
SOLD
 

BENIN
Head 8
SOLD

 

BENIN
Head 7
SOLD
 

 

BENIN
Head 10
SOLD

 

BENIN
Head 11
SOLD

BENIN
Head  12
SOLD
 

 

BENIN
Head 13
SOLD

Photographs © Tim Hamill

BENIN, BRONZE HEADS, Nigeria

The extraordinary bronzes of the Benin kingdom in what is now Nigeria exhibit a virtuosity and sophistication of style that has astonished the Western world since they were visited in the 15th Century. Their work was brought to Europe following a punitive expedition by the British in 1897, causing a great sensation. The people of Benin, called Bini, are descended from the Ife, also known for their remarkable bronzes. Almost all Benin art was created to honor the king , or Oba, who has reigned, with his ancestors, from the 15th century. Styles have changed over the years. Although similar to many older works, these are all 20th C. pieces. Each is still sculpted by hand, then cast in bronze by the lost wax process. Heads that do not depict the king show members of his court or the Queen. The King's head marked CAST is a plaster Museum reproduction.

Old Benin bronzes are very rare. Despite their appearance, these are all 20th C. pieces and were probably made to be sold.

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