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HOME : Decorative Arts : African Sculptures : Benin Style Wooden Head of an Oba
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Benin Style Wooden Head of an Oba - PF.2583
Origin: West Africa
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 22" (55.9cm) high
Collection: Decorative Arts
Medium: Wood

$6,000.00
Location: United States
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Description
Masterfully carved from a giant block of wood, this commemorative head was created as a dedication to the ancestors of the Oba, or divine king, of Benin. Benin is a kingdom in Africa founded in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. It flourished under the rule of the Oba and his hierarchical court until the end of the nineteenth century when British troops invaded the city. In 1914, the Benin king was reinstated, however, and many of the ritual, political and artistic activities of the court were also resumed. The unique Benin artistry of that period is revealed in this spirited Oba head, a characteristically idealized representation of the powerful rulers. Although it is an ideal image, the wood carver has nevertheless imbued the Oba with a subtle naturalism, through the Oba’s softly modeled face, full and sensual lips, broad nose and furrowed cheeks and brow. At the same time the Oba’s electrically charged eyes enhance his authoritative presence, while a large pointed headdress elevates his exalted visage upwards toward the heavens. This commemorative Oba head clearly speaks of a people whose art forms are filled with evocative power a people whose traditions find dramatic expression through the hands of their gifted. - (PF.2583)

 

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