Skip Navigation

Plaque Fragment

Arts of Africa

This fragment of a plaque depicts a warrior whose leopard-tooth necklace, bracelet, and skirt indicate that he was most likely an official of the court of the oba, or king, of Benin. Such plaques adorned the pillars and walls of the royal palace. They both memorialized the specific events of an oba’s reign and served as reference guides to proper court dress and ritual.
MEDIUM Copper alloy
DATES mid 16th-17th century
DIMENSIONS 11 13/16 × 7 1/16 in. (30 × 18 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS "AF./2068" in white on back; "39.113" in red on back
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
CREDIT LINE Alfred W. Jenkins Fund
PROVENANCE Until 1897, Benin Kingdom; 1897, taken from the Royal Palace during the British military raid and occupation of Benin City by an unidentified British agent; between 1897 and 1913, provenance not yet documented; by February 1913, acquired by William O. Oldman of London, United Kingdom; February 24, 1913, purchased from William O. Oldman by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA; 1939, transferred from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology to the Brooklyn Museum, by exchange.
Provenance FAQ
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Figure in relief of warrior carrying baldric and sword held by left hand. Necklace of leopard's teeth, some of which are missing. Right arm at the side, bracelets represented on this arm. Background of plaque with simple incised pattern of two leaves enclosing a circle.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Edo. Plaque Fragment, mid 16th-17th century. Copper alloy, 11 13/16 × 7 1/16 in. (30 × 18 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 39.113. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 39.113_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 39.113_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
Edo. <em>Plaque Fragment</em>, mid 16th-17th century. Copper alloy, 11 13/16 × 7 1/16 in. (30 × 18 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Alfred W. Jenkins Fund, 39.113. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 39.113_PS6.jpg)