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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Benin Ivory Trumpet
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Benin Ivory Trumpet - PF.2876
Origin: South-Central Nigeria
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 19.5" (49.5cm) high x 2" (5.1cm) wide
Catalogue: V19
Collection: African
Medium: Ivory


Location: UAE
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Description
To the Benin, ivory was more valuable than gold and represented great kings and warriors. When used, the sounds produced by this trumpet represented the voices of the king's enemies praising him. The playing of this trumpet was also said to empower the king with the strength of the elephant it came from. On this specific trumpet we see the mother of the king seated in a place of high honor, on the very top. Below her are depictions of her servants and protectors. She herself is elegantly modeled wearing multiple strands of beads showing her high rank. Also pictured on this stunning piece is the sacred snake. It was believed by the Benin people that it was the snake that connected heaven and earth. - (PF.2876)

 

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