A beautiful, Benin Bronze "Osun" head. This genuinely old example is a characteristic example of the famous Benin Bronzes.
The Benin Bronzes are a group of more than a thousand metal plaques and sculptures that decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin in what is now the Midwest area of Nigeria. Collectively, the Benin bronze objects form the best-known examples of Benin art and were created from the thirteenth century onwards by artists of the Edo people of Nigeria. This type of head was used to worship Osun that is one of many deities worshipped in Benin in the past. The power of Osun lies in plants obtained in the forest used to make magical or medical potions by witch doctors or Magic specialists called Ebo.The Obas, Kings, of Benin used these type of heads as symbols of the power of the deities they worshipped. Osun heads have many different forms but will characteristically have Snakes issuing from the eyes, nostrils or ears of the Bronze head. A visually stunning, rare and finely-crafted example with great attention to detailing and good form and balance. This is the most iconic of the Osun Benin bronze heads referenced in many books and literature about this specific category of Benin bronze. Features the famous "Osun" head with the usual characteristics.
Typically, Snakes emanate from the nose of this Osun head that appear to be holding frogs in their mouth at the other end. The theme is repeated inversely with frogs at the tip of each side of the mouth of the Osun head. There are four mythical birds to the top of head with wings spread widely.Some degradation and thinning of the bronze, with age and wear, especially to the base, but the bronze head is in excellent collector condition. A beautiful, considerable and significant tribal treasure. Please note that this Benin bronze is genuine and old. As with all my bronze offerings, this is a personal find from Edo State of Nigeria which is the current home of the centre of the Ancient Benin Empire that produced the many examples of beautiful Benin bronze collected worldwide today. 37cm high x 17cm wide x 18cm deep.
Item is big and very heavy.