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Plaque

Arts of Africa

On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
Portuguese explorers and traders arrived by sea in the kingdom of Benin in 1485. Representations of the Portuguese were quickly incorporated into the art of the royal court. They were invariably represented wearing sixteenth-century European dress, with long hair, flowing beards, and moustaches. These depictions symbolized the wealth that the obas (kings) of Benin derived from foreign trade. One of the chief commodities imported from Portugal was the copper from which the plaques were made.
MEDIUM Copper alloy
DATES 16th or 17th century
DIMENSIONS 19 13/16 x 15 9/16 x 2 1/2 in. (50.3 x 39.5 x 6.4 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 56.6.74
CREDIT LINE Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Plaque, 16th or 17th century. Copper alloy, 19 13/16 x 15 9/16 x 2 1/2 in. (50.3 x 39.5 x 6.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 56.6.74. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 56.6.74_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Full figure Portuguese warrior, holds mace, cap with 2 feathers, flowing hair, beard, wears skirt, sword, 3 rosettes in background, chased surface with floral motif, figure also shows elaborate surface treatment. Condition: Extensive metal losses upper right corner, smaller one lower left corner.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (84%)
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