Lot 99C: Rare 19th C. African Benin Janus Form Bronze Staff
October 27, 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
West Africa, Kingdom of Benin, 19th century CE. This is a cast bronze figure in the shape of two people, one at the top and one at the bottom, with highly stylized arms bent at the elbows. The faces of the figures are in the Benin style, with flattened eyes, nose, and mouth; they each wear long, conical headdresses. From the end of the 15th century onward, the Benin people expanded their bronze and brass sculptures in order to trade with Portugal, and, later, Great Britain. Staffs like this one, however, were not just trade goods but also signs of authority within the Benin Kingdom. Size: 1.9" W x 9.4" H (4.8 cm x 23.9 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Adeon Gallery, Nick Poolos, Chicago, IL, acquired before 1975
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Condition Report: Fine archaeological patina; intact with shape clear.