Superb Benin Bronze "Osun" Figure. Very Rare And Old Example. This genuinely old example is a characteristic example of the many work of Benin bronze casting artisan, in the ancient Benin Kingdom, now famously know worldwide today as the 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 figures represents "Osun" that is one of the most powerful deities, of many, worshipped in the ancient Benin empire. The Osun deity is believed to have been a personal favourite of the Oba (King) of Benin. 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 of Benin especially viewed the Osun deity as omnipotent t and infallible hence the reason iit is perhaps the most represented, through bronze casting, of the deities worshipped in the ancient Benin Kingdom several hundred years ago. Osun figures and 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. The Bronze- crafted figures and head of the Osun deity are some of the most iconic of the Osun Benin bronze heads and figures to the extent they are referenced in many books and literature about this specific category of Benin bronze. This figure show the Osun deity in it's most purist form holding a divination rod, with a skull crown, in his right hand.
In the left hand of the Osun deity is a small bowl believed to contains balls of spiritually powerful mixture of plants the Osun uses for many functions from healing illnesses to granting warriors protection in conflict and battle. The Osun figure has coral beads adornment to neck, waist and ankle. Directly below the beaded waist is a stylized phallus believed to be a symbol of potency and power of the Osun deity. The head of the "Osun" displays the. Characteristics emanation of Snakes from the mouth, eyes and nose.
Some of the Snakes 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, believed to be the bird of prophecy, called "Ahianmw?
", to the top of the head of the Osun deity. The bird is named after its ability to utter certain announcement that denotes specific prophecies of good outcome or impending disaster. Some degradation and thinning of the bronze throughout with age and wear.A beautiful, considerable, very rare 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 Ancient Benin Empire that produced the many and varied examples of beautiful Benin bronze figures, heads, plaques and utilitarian items now collected avidly worldwide today. 62cm high x 22cm wide x 23cm deep. Figure is very heavy and will required delicate packaging. We are a UK-based business but we source and field-collect authentic tribal treasures in person on the ground in Africa. We therefore sometimes send big and heavy items directly from our storage facility in West Africa to avoid duplication of effort and expenses.