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.
mid 16th-17th century
"AF./2068" in white on back; "39.113" in red on back
Alfred W. Jenkins Fund
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.
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.
This item is not on view
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)
overall, 39.113_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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