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A bronze relief plaque

A bronze relief plaque

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A bronze relief plaque, Nigeria, crafted in brass using the lost-wax casting technique, featuring a fragmented rectangular base, the background surface is adorned with intricate leaf patterns, the central depiction on the plaque shows a figure standing and frontal facing. On either side of the figure, there are two small standing figures facing sideways, the central figure is adorned with distinctive regal attire, a deep beaded collar, crossed beaded bands on his chest, as well as armlets and beaded anklets, in addition to a patterned skirt. The plaque has suffered severe damage and has many punctured holes, including the whole missing left side.

"Following the British occupation of Benin City (Edo) in 1897 objects made of brass, ivory and wood were looted by British forces from the royal palace, its storerooms and compounds. Some of these objects were sold or exchanged on the coast. However, many were brought to the UK where they were sold through private auction, donated to museums, or retained by soldiers of the expedition. The British Museum successfully petitioned the government to secure some of the relief plaques and over 300 were sent to the UK by the Consul-General [Sir] Ralph Moor and placed at the Foreign Office. During the summer of 1897 the Crown Agents for the Colonies, on behalf of the Foreign Office, agreed a temporary loan of 304 plaques to the British Museum. In September these were placed on public display in the Assyrian basement where they attracted considerable public attention. The Museum initially received 203 of these plaques as a gift from the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In the summer of 1898 a further eleven plaques were sent to the British Museum from the Foreign Office and three of these were selected by the Museum and were subsequently presented as a gift. Of the remaining plaques the Foreign Office retained eight and the rest were offered for sale to major museums, collectors and private dealers in Europe and the UK. Today over nine hundred plaques are known to exist in museums and private collections around the world. See Collection File: Af1898,0115.1-203 (previously Eth.Doc.185)."

Source: Digital Benin

Height: 42 cm
Length: 19 cm
Weight: 4,2 kg incl. stand

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