Carving of Queen Victoria

British Museum

British Museum

This figure of Queen Victoria was made by a Yoruba carver. She is shown standing and with her head enlarged in relation to her body. Her face is youthful, and beneath her dress the artist has imaginatively carved a pair of shoes.

During the nineteenth century Africans faced colonisation as European armies fought to establish their own empires, and Nigeria came under British rule. Official and unofficial photographs of Queen Victoria were widely reproduced across Nigeria and other countries in the British empire. These were probably used for reference by skilled Yoruba carvers. The resulting three-dimensional figures of the Queen, of which this is one, included European details of dress and posture created within existing Yoruba carving conventions.

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  • Title: Carving of Queen Victoria
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 37.00cm; Width: 12.00cm; Depth: 14.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: carved
  • Registration number: Af1988,12.1
  • Place: Found/Acquired Nigeria
  • Peoples: Made by Yoruba
  • Other information: Cultural rights may apply.
  • Material: wood
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Lambert, H V A


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