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19th century and likely part of the loot taken by the British after the Benin Punitive Expedition of 1897 which marked the end of the Benin Kingdom. Bronze, 4 3/8” width of deeply ridged C form with roped motif central member terminating in knobs. The open ends hatched. One edge with plain roll, the other roped, enclosing raised scribed semi circles.  Made by the lost wax process. The Benin were masters of bronze casting. Early examples including Oba heads and the wall panels from the royal palace are valued in the high hundreds of thousands. The Punitive Expedition was in retaliation for the massacre of an earlier expedition led by Council-General James Phillips who’s purpose was to depose the king who had resisted colonization. The Punitive Expedition burned most of the important buildings in Benin and looted ivory and bronze art, the majority of which was sold at auction in London May 25, 1897 and Bicester, NW of London, 1898-1900. This example purchased at Christies, London, in the 1980’s
Stock Number: B2363

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