Galerie Peter Herrmann
Ancient Art from Africa
  To main page Bronzes  
Standing women

Female Figure Thermoluminescence-Report
Benin, Nigeria
about 1500
Bronze. 44 cm

This figure is exceptional by mere virtue of its sex: in Benin, the depiction of women was almost exclusively reserved for Queen Mothers, with their characteristic peaked, piled-up hair-styles and coral pearls.
This figure, too, wears a coral head cover, though hers lies flat against her head and lacks the braided plaits that usually hang down from such caps. The cap and the rotund coral collar - typical of 16 th -century pieces - identify her as a member of palace society, though the exact position she held and the precise meaning of the tablet-like item in her right hand cannot be definitively determined - all the more so given that no objects of comparison whatsoever are known.