A Bronze Reclining Leopard, Bini Edo People, Nigeria. Circa 1960.

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A bronze figure of a reclining leopard made by the lost wax technique, with snarling mouth, protruding fangs and tongue, whiskers arching over the cheeks and large lentoid shaped eyes. Front legs extended, back legs bent and feet resting on the ground; tail extending from the back. The body covered in a series of roundels with raised bosses to the centre to represent spots.

As “king of the forest” his reputation is as great as that of the Oba, or king. Killing a leopard was a privilege of the Oba, who had his own association of leopard hunters equipped with “special powers” which enabled them to kill these animals without losing their own lives.

Length: 40 cm

Property from a Belgium private collection

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