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Oba head from the kingdom of Benin (Nigeria)

Reference - S80

Rare and old commemorative head of Oba in wood.

4,800.00 €
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description

Rare and ancient commemorative head of Oba from Benin (Nigeria), in dense wood with an important black ritual patina.

The features of the face are powerful and expressive, the nose is blunt, the mouth represented by two horizontal lines... The lower part with wavy lines represents the coral bead necklace, symbol of power. The top of the head is decorated with the traditional helmet with another coral necklace underneath. On the left side an ostrich feather cut in the shape of an arrow symbolizes the high rank of the chief. The back of the head has been hollowed out to insert a carved ivory tusk. These wooden heads were placed on altars to honor ancestral chiefs. The whole object shows a sacrificial patina (important notably on the forehead), and a visible crack at the back, otherwise good general condition. Height : 44 cm. Very probably XIXth century. Provenance : Jean-Michel Huguenin gallery (Paris) in the 80's, from a collection in the south of France.

 

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