Benin bronze leopards
Detail: Two Bronze Leopard leopards
Sold as a pair – Price for the two
Benin bronze leopards. Benin’s art is royal art. It was made to glorify the divine king, or Oba, and to honour great kings of the past. It is primarily made of cast brass and ivory.
In Benin animals are symbols of deities or cults. Some represent the power of the Oba (King). The objects from Benin in the Museum feature images of fish, snakes, leopards, and crocodiles. They are not just on plaques but on bracelets and other objects too.
In Benin cosmology the leopard is a symbol of royal power. At one time leopards were sacrificed to ensure the well-being of the kingdom. In the seventeenth century the Oba kept tame leopards that he led about in chains when he paraded through the city. This showed his power and domination over the ‘King of the Bush’.
These leopard, bronze antiques are from Nigeria, Court of Benin, Edo People – G20th Bronze Carving. Kept in the courtyard of the KIngs. The bigger the cat the greater the power of the king shown.