Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Head

Date:
16th–18th century
Geography:
Nigeria, Court of Benin
Culture:
Edo peoples
Medium:
Terracotta, sacrificial materials, pigment
Dimensions:
H. 7 x W. 5 3/4 x D. 4 5/8 in. (17.8 x 14.6 x 11.8 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.17.8
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 352
Edo terracotta heads differ from comparable works cast in brass in their greater simplicity, both stylistically and in the incorporation of less regalia. Generally, they are less delicate or refined, with thicker, fuller facial features, and reflect the relative speed with which they were made. It has also been suggested that the king's coral regalia might have been stored on terracotta heads, or that they were used as molds from which to cast brass heads.
[Charles Jones, Wilmington, NC]; [Damon Brandt, New York]; Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, New York, until 1991

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