About this artwork
During the 16th century, coastal trade made brass amply available in the Kingdom of Benin. King Esigie (reigned about 1504–about 1550) exploited the inflow by commissioning his court’s brass casters to make commemorative plaques for his palace. The warrior depicted here wears a coral-studded cap and collar indicating his rank. The horseshoe shape in the upper left corner represents a copper or brass ring known as a manilla. Manufactured in Europe, such rings were used as currency among the Benin people.
- 33.9 × 28.8 × 4.7 cm (13 3/8 × 11 3/8 × 1 7/8 in.)
- Samuel P. Avery Fund