A Rare find!
Sitting on the corner of the shelf was this magnificent piece of art. Collecting dust as the merciless harmattan wind blew, this bronze piece had been excluded from the outside world.
This sculpture is of the King of Benin City (Oba Akenzua II) who reigned from 1933 to 1978. He is seen sitting on the throne with 2 leopards.Leopards in Benin culture represent royalty and strength. It is said that the King has the power to tame the leopards, so they become like his pets.Oba Akenzua was a famous king. He received the Queen of England when she visited Nigeria in 1956.
This was cast by one of the most famous artists in Benin, Chief Ihama.
This is a one of a kind sculpture. In all the time spent collecting and purchasing Benin bronzes, one has not had a copy or replica of this piece. Indeed the placing of the King and the two leopards together on a Western style throne, attests to the definite blending of Africa and Europe.
The piece exudes power, royalty and sheer beauty. Aesthetically, this will fit perfectly on your office table, or living room shelf.
And yes, this is absolutely great value for money. It does deserve that price and much much more. At a time where there has been debate on which of the bronze works are better and how the artists of old (500 years and more) were perfectionists, a piece arises that puts that debate to temporary rest. Yes, Benin bronze casting tradition lives on. Sure, the artists have shrunk in number, but the talent remains.
If for nothing, this piece deserves a place in the hand of a discerning collector. At the moment, it has developed a very very nice green patina.
Dimensions: 30cm length, 20cm height, 12cm width. Weighs about 5kg