A Benin bronze altar tableau or urhoto
A Benin bronze altar tableau or urhoto, round form with a square hole to attach a wooden holder for an ivory tooth, on the upper surface are two elephants decorated with checks and dots, resting their trunks on the backs of two spotted leopards, the tip of the trunks are shaped as human hands, between the leopards are three small oil lamps, behind the elephants meander two mudfish decorated with checks. These motifs are referring to the strength and achievements of the deceased. The entire upper surface is engraved with manifold fine ornaments and a braided band winds around the top and bottom of the base. Superimposed over an interlace pattern which runs around the cylinder are several appliqués consisting of arms with shoulder epaulettes holding leaves and sacrificial offerings in the form of goat heads and cock heads. The entire object is decorated in a horror vacui manner without a single gap and in an extremely varied manner; a rare bronze of outstanding quality. German Private Collection.
This cast bronze altar tableau, or urhoto, was originally displayed on an ancestral altar dedicated to an oba of the Benin kingdom.
Lit.: Ezra, Kate. Royal Art of Benin: The Perls Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992, no. 23, pp. 82–83. Plass, Margaret Barton, William B. Fagg, and Roy Sieber. 7 metals of Africa. Philadelphia: University Museum, 1959, no. D-1. Robbins, Warren M. African Art in American Collections= L'art africain dans les collections americaines. New York: F.A. Praeger, 1966, fig. 175. Catalogue of Primitive Art. London: Sotheby & Co., July 8, 1974, no. 75. Indiana University Art Museum. Royal Benin. Bloomington, 1980. Kaplan Flora S. Dr., ed. Images of power: Art of the Royal Court of Benin. New York: Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 1981, no. 24. Dark, Philip J.C. An Illustrated Catalogue of Benin Art. Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., 1982, no. Z2/77. Herbert, Eugenia W. Red Gold: Copper Arts of Africa. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, 1984, no. 9, fig. 65.
3.000 - 3.600,- Euro
Height: 15 cm
Weight: 4,2 kg