240709 - Rare Old Bronze African Beni Edo royal court dwarf - Benin.


Rare Old Bronze African Beni Edo royal court dwarf - Benin.

Size: 28 cm high.

A royal court dwarf dignifiedly cast in bronze. Fou du roi as they are called, his pygmies are part of the king's close guard. They occupied a high place at court insofar as they were part of the inner circle of army commanders. They were endowed with supernatural powers and forces intended to protect the royal family and beyond, the entire community.
At public events, they held a large fan with which they greeted the king.

This type of work was reserved for the highest castes of society. An immense head with a rounded forehead, divided in two by an imaginary line which communicates vertically with a more or less flattened nose in the middle of two hollow eyes.

This character wears traditional necklaces around his neck, royal bracelets on his wrists and a makeshift loincloth worn by the wear and tear of time around his waist. A protruding abdomen with a slightly humped back, this piece shines with its headdress, sober but above all impressive at the nape of the neck.

The art of the ancient kingdom of Benin or Béni au was a royal court art closely linked to the OBA, the king. This tradition dates back to the 14th century, long before the arrival of Europeans for exploration and colonial conquest.