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The bronze head of a young Oba

The bronze head of a young Oba

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Regular price Sale price €8.000,00 EUR
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The bronze head of a young Oba in the style of Ife, characterized by the typical Ife style features: The corners of the upper eyelids hang over those of the lower ones. Around the lips is an accentuated edge, here especially around the upper lip. There are grooves around the neck; the bronze is heavily encrusted with various layers of reddish brown patina, partly eroded, defects on the neck, a dent at the top of the head, four openings in the neck for nails, with which the head was probably originally attached to a wooden body, without stand.

Similar bronze heads like the one of the Wunmonije Compound type are quite often found, which raises the question of their use. It is assumed that they were attached to a life-size wooden figure, possibly with movable limbs. These figures were dressed in the same way as the person depicted would have been. Perhaps the Oba was thus able to attend ceremonies and burials without being personally present. When a new Oba came into power perhaps only the bronze head was replaced.

TL Analysis 520 years +/- 17 %.

"The question of fundamental dating - still one of the main questions of Benin research - Wolf approaches, however, always very carefully and with respect. He makes it clear that must remain open, whether his cognition actually" solid clues to the individual by no means completed dating of the Bronzes. "Sylvia Dolz, Treasures of Africa / Benin, the donation Baessler, Museum of Ethnology Dresden, 2006, page 13.

The cited Siegfried Wolf was a scientist and ethnologist, Sylvia Dolz arguesaccording of this point of view that neither a natural sciences (especially TL and metallurgical analysis) nor an art-historical / stylistic method alone lead to useful results in terms of age determination. Only a combination of several reviews can lead to useful results. For us as scientific laymen, it is not possible to make relevant, extremely complex analyzes, so we can not give any information on the age and associated possible restitution claims. We have bought this item as a 20th century copy and will resell it as well: a good copy.

Height: 31 cm
Weight: 1,9 kg

Ife marionette

„ … vier Öffnungen, die für Nägel bestimmt waren, mit denen man den Kopf wahrscheinlich ursprünglich an einem hölzernen Rumpf befestigt hatte.“ Frank Willet, Ife, pl. 3.

„Die lebensgroßen Bronzeköpfe aus Ife mögen für denselben Zweck an ähnlichen Körpern befestigt gewesen sein.“ Frank Willet, Ife, pl. 2.

Lit.: Frank Willet, Ife. Neue Entdeckungen der Archäologie, 2. Auflage 1975, Tafel 2 und 3. H. Meyerowitz and V. Meyerowitz, Bronzes and Terra-Cottas from Ile-Ife, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs (Oct., 1939). Arts de L'Afrique Noire, Jean Laude, translated by Jean Decock, University of California Press Berkeley, 1966, 1. Paperback-Edition 1973.

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