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Huge Benin Bronze Horse and Rider Statue 67.5″ – Nigeria – African Tribal Art

$1,950.00

1 in stock

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This is an outstanding bronze horse rider figure cast by the Benin people of Nigeria. The artists work is very intricate as you can see in his head piece and the features of the horse’s head and body. The statue measures 67.5 inches tall and 37 inches long and weighs 154 pounds. There is cracking, scrapes and scuffs and a chain missing on the right side of the horse’s mouth – please inspect photos. This is an oversized piece that requires a shipping quote – please inquire.

Type of Object

Figure, statue

Country of Origin

Nigeria

Ethnicity

Benin

Animal

Material

Copper Alloy

Approximate Age

Unknown

Height (Inches)

67.5"

Width (Inches)

16.75"

Depth (Inches)

37"

Weight (Pounds)

154 lbs

Overall Condition

Chain missing from horse mouth, corrosion, cracking

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Tribe Information

About the Benin People

The people living in the Benin kingdom are a mixture of many cultures. Originally, the Edo people, who inhabited the area, became displeased with their ruler and invited an Ife prince to rule instead. The son of the Ife prince became the first Oba (king) of Benin, but local chiefs still had ultimate control to make decisions. In the late 13th century, Oba Ewedo would be the first king to assert his power and display absolute authority.

In the 15th century, the kingdom of Benin was expanded to a large empire under the rule of Ewuare the Great. He ordered giant walls and moats to be constructed to surround his palace. These walls, later unearthed, were estimated that it would have taken a workforce of 1000, working 7 days a week, 10-hour days, about 5 dry seasons to complete. A huge, fanatical task.

The Benin empire continued until the late 1800’s, when the British invaded, captured and burned Benin City, known as the British Expedition.
In 1897, an army of British soldiers raided Benin City in retaliation of a previous battle in which all but 2 men had perished. They burned homes, religious buildings and palaces. The city’s walls, estimated to be four times longer in total than the Great Wall of China, was left in ruins. Once the British secured the city, they began looting. Over 2500 religious artifacts and pieces of art were sent to England. They began auctioning off the artwork to cover the war expenses, some spreading to European museums while others have been lost forever.

Read more about the Benin here.

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