When the last Ogiso king died and the surviving prince returned to become the next king, the Kingdom of Benin was founded. For hundreds of years, the kingdom grew bigger until the 1700’s when the British empire started to wrestle control over trade in Africa from the Benin Kingdom. The Galway Treaty of 1892 further weakened the kingdom’s economic growth until the British started the Benin Expedition of 1897 in order to depose the last Benin king. It was during that expedition where the British soldiers destroyed and looted the Benin palace of beautiful bronze and metal plaques and statues from the Benin king’s castle. These are the Benin Bronzes; antique statues that showcased Benin art and were made from the skillful hands of the Edo people during the 13th century.
The Benin Bronzes became prized among European art and statue collectors. They were awed over the fact that violent savages from Africa could actually create such beautiful and wonderful statues. The most beautiful was the Benin Bronze Heads.
Benin bronze brass heads were made by the most skillful Benin metalworkers for the royal family members. These brass heads were supposedly placed on the altars of kings and were prized possessions by the obas or kings. The subject of the Benin bronze heads was to exalt or praise the king, the queen or any member of the royal family.
Measures 16" H x 9" W x 7" D