A superb cast Bronze guard for the forearm measuring 8" in length this item came originally from the a very extensive collection of Ethnic Art & weapons. Made by the 'lost wax' method of casting these 'Benin Bronze' items are hard to accurately date but most items offered by traders are usually more recent copies of the very old pieces but is important to note is that the skill of the Nigerian bronze and brass casters of today continue a tradition some 500 years old and are very skilled at making such pieces.The Benin Empire was a pre-colonial empire located in what is now southern Nigeria. Its capital was Edo, now known as Benin City, Edo. It should not be confused with the modern-day country called Benin, formerly called Dahomey. The Benin Empire was "one of the oldest and most highly developed states in the coastal hinterland of West Africa, dating perhaps to the eleventh century CE", until it was annexed by the British Empire in 1897.
The original people and founders of the Benin Empire, the Edo people, were initially ruled by the Ogiso (Kings of the Sky) dynasty who called their land Igodomigodo. The rulers or kings were commonly known as OgisBenin rose to prominence partly due to its strategic position between the north-south
and east-west trade routes, which enabled it to become wealthy. Its proximity to the sea also meant that it attracted the attention of European traders.
These traders visiting Benin, in the 15th and16th century, discovered a society every bit as organised and structured as the great courts of Europe, controlling every aspect of life and not least, foreign trade.
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At Molloy's MEGA ANTIQUES CENTRE, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand
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