Rare Yoruba Copper Bell, Nigeria/Benin
height 10 1/4in (26.5cm)
finely cast in the form of a human head with characteristic bulbous eyes, broad nose and full lips; natural, fine oxidized surface.
Ciram Analysis Certificate no. 0210-OA-39B, dating the work to the 18th and 19th centuries.
cf. Museum für Völkerkunde, Berlin inv. no. III C 10876 for a similar bell sold to the museum by W.D. Webster, Bicester, England.
The Ijebu Kingdom dominated Nigeria's coastal region between 1500-1750, during which time the Yoruba people traded copper with Portuguese sailors. Clearly influenced by their Benin predecessors, the Yoruba artist skillfully cast works of art highly decorated with anthropomorphic traits; the present work being a very fine example of the Yoruba stylistic style.