Collection: Benin and Ife

Benin and Ife is one of the focal points of our collection. These objects come from private collections from both Togo and Europe. When it comes to origin, we make sure that the objects are not stolen, such as the items looted from the British punitive expedition in 1897. Some of our Ife and Benin bronzes have official export documents. Others ended up in private collections without documents. However, it is not always easy to check export documents for authenticity, as over the past decades we have repeatedly received documents that were officially issued but still raised doubts. We strive for the greatest possible transparency. Nevertheless, it must be checked in each individual case to what extent an origin can be traced, especially when exporting from today's Nigeria. The openness with which we treat this topic has so far not led to any claims for restitution or any lawsuits being filed because one of our objects was stolen.

We had thermoluminescence analyzes carried out to determine the age of many Ife and Benin bronzes by laboratories that were often tested several times by different institutes and came to more or less the same results. The deviations were small. Every customer is free to choose an analysis institute of their choice and to carry out the appropriate age determination tests themselves.