Bronze figure of a hornblower


British Museum

British Museum

This figure depicts one of the retinue of the Oba (king) of Benin sounding a side-blown horn. It is typical of those objects which might have been found on altars in the Benin royal court of the late sixteenth / early seventeenth century which were dedicated to the Oba's ancestors. Early European accounts, such as Olfert Dapper's Description de l'Afrique (Amsterdam, 1686), illustrate musicians of this type.

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  • Title: Bronze figure of a hornblower
  • Date Created: 1550/1650
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 62.00cm; Width: 37.00cm; Depth: 20.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: lost-wax cast
  • Subject: musical instrument
  • Registration number: Af1949,46.156
  • Production place: Made in Benin City
  • Place: Found/Acquired Benin City
  • Peoples: Made by Edo
  • Other information: Cultural rights may apply.
  • Material: bronze
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Oldman, D K. Funded by Art Fund. With contribution from Art Fund. Collected by Oldman, William Ockelford