Benin bronze 2-faced decorative figure

This is a Benin bronze figure with 2 opposing faces in elaborate headdress. It is Bronze with a fine patina evidencing age. It's finely decorated and has a lovely artistic style. It was inherited from my father in 1988 (Harry Bober, a noted NYU art historian)


c. 28 cm h. x 11-12 cm. w./d.

Acquired From:


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Mearto's online appraisal:

David U.

Mearto specialist

June 3, 2024
Fair Market Value:

Hello, Thank you for choosing Mearto for your online appraisal. Based on the images and information you provided, this item is: A Queen's Head statue from Benin. located in present-day Nigeria. This bronze sculpture, likely dating back to a period in the 19th or early 20th century, is a representation of the artistic excellence and cultural significance within the Benin artistic tradition. The Queen's Head exhibits a high level of detail and intricacy, capturing the regality and grace associated with Benin royalty. The bronze casting technique employed by Benin artisans during this era is renowned for its precision, and the portrayal of the queen reflects the cultural importance of monarchy in Benin society. The headwear, facial features, and ornate necklaces are indicative of the elaborate regalia worn by Benin royalty, emphasizing the social and political roles played by queens in the kingdom. The historical context of this bronze is crucial for appraisal, considering the complex history of the Benin Kingdom and the artistic achievements of its people. The Benin bronze casting tradition reached its zenith during the rule of the Oba (king) Ovonramwen in the late 19th century. The subsequent punitive expedition by the British in 1897 resulted in the looting of Benin artworks, making each surviving piece a valuable artifact with historical and cultural significance.