Benin art is art for the sake of the king (Oba) and his court. Highly realistic bronze cocks, such as this handsome one, adorned the altars of deceased queen mothers. Standing solidly on a carved base, this proud rooster has finely incised markings over its body suggesting feathers. These short lines continue onto the tail, with its top feather curved well beyond the base providing a balance for the near vertical extension of the comb. Though the facial features are slightly abstract, especially the eyes, they are cleverly done to make the rooster seem very much alive. Benin bronze sculptors carried on a long tradition of creating some of the most exquisite objects in the history of African art; and this rooster is certainly part of that impressive tradition.