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Benin Ivory Sculpture of a Standing Female - PF.4648
Origin: Southcentral Nigeria
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 7.125" (18.1cm) high x 1.5" (3.8cm) wide
Catalogue: V24
Collection: African
Style: Benin
Medium: Ivory

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This charming ivory statuette has typical characteristics of Benin statuary. Her body is quite abstract but clearly delineated. She stands in a confident pose, with her arms at her sides drawing attention to her powerful face, which is both impassive and yet very expressive. Her breasts are joined at the top, then separate to form a triangle shape. The finely incised grid pattern on her ankles, head and neck, and the attractive coiffure extending from the back of the head to the forehead are indications of wealth and prestige. She probably represents a high ranking female in the royal household. Such figures were often placed on altars in the palace. Ivory was a precious material which only the wealthy could afford; consequently such statuettes are rare and serve as a vivid reminder of a vanished kingdom. - (PF.4648)

 

 

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