This striking Benin bronze head represents a warrior with a Portuguese helmet. The face is of a younger man, with rounded features, wide-open eyes with raised rims, a short nose and very full lips that are slightly parted, while each cheek is decorated with three “whiskers” that originate at either side of the mouth to honor the leopard, one of the main symbols in Benin art. At the round chin there is a neatly trimmed small chin beard. As if the warrior would not trust the magic protection of the European helmet alone, there are three African arrows attached to it and a fine braid emerges from under the helmet. Most unusually, the apex of the head is open to receive a tusk – as a connection to heaven. The neck and base of the piece is made up of numerous lines of fine beading.
TL Analysis Kotalla 400 years +/- 18 percent.
3.600 – 4.200 years
Height: 27 cm
Weight: 2,6 kg