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Catalog Data

Maker:
Benin kingdom court style  Search this
Edo artist  Search this
Medium:
Copper alloy, iron
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 33 x 23.5 x 23.2 cm (13 x 9 1/4 x 9 1/8 in.)
Type:
Sculpture
Geography:
Nigeria
Date:
18th century
Label Text:
This head was once displayed on an altar honoring a particular oba, or king. It is not a specific portrait but an image of the status and regalia of kingship. Particular emphasis is given to the collar and crown made of imported coral beads.
Description:
Cast copper alloy cylindrical head with a beaded neck to the lower lip of the mouth, netted bead cap with clusters of beads on the sides, cylindrical beads in front, strands of beads in front of theears, braids behind the ears and a single large bead on the forehead. The face has 3 keloids over each eye.
Provenance:
Benin Punitive Expedition, 1897
Mrs. E.C.Gaze and R.H.H. Barneby, 1965
Sotheby and Co. auction, London, March 29, 1965
Kamer Gallery, New York, 1967 to 1968
Joseph H. Hirshhorn, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1968 to 1979
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1979 to 1985
Exhibition History:
Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2017-ongoing
Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue - From the Collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Camille O. and William H. Cosby, Jr., National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, November 7, 2014-January 24, 2016
Pavilion, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., October 2, 2002
The Ancient West African City of Benin, A.D. 1300-1897, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., September 28, 1987-June 1, 2004
Published References:
Freyer, Bryna. 1987. Royal Benin Art in the Collection of the National Museum of African Art. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, no. 2.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen and Adrienne L. Childs (eds). 2014. Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue from the Collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Camille O. and William H. Cosby, Jr. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 45-46, 50, no. 44, pl. 1.
Robbins, Warren M. and Nancy I. Nooter. 1989. African Art in American Collections. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 215, no. 553.
Topic:
Commemorative  Search this
Ancestral  Search this
Status  Search this
Shrine/Altar  Search this
male  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn to the Smithsonian Institution in 1979
Object number:
85-19-16
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
National Museum of African Art Collection
Exhibition:
Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts
On View:
NMAfA, Second Level Gallery (2193)
Data Source:
National Museum of African Art
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ys7f7603091-3fbd-4569-926b-9d46e326ce9f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmafa_85-19-16