Plaque: Two Portuguese with Manillas

Date: 16th–17th century

Geography: Nigeria, Court of Benin

Culture: Edo peoples

Medium: Brass

Dimensions: H. 18 in. (45.7 cm)

Classification: Metal-Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, 1991

Accession Number: 1991.17.13


This is an example of the series of cast brass plaques that historically hung on the wooden pillars of the Benin royal palace. This particular work reflects the association made by the Edo people between the Portuguese, depicted with sharp noses, long hair, and unique dress, and wealth, represented by the brass manillas (coins).