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    Benin (Nigeria)
    Fine Equestrian Figure Topping an Ideophone, circa 16th century
    Height: 11 ¼ inches Width: 1 5/8 inches Depth: 2 inches

    A carefully detailed ivory carving of a male king is riding a diminutive horse that stands on a base whose side shows an endless interlacing knot. Below that is a plain cylindrical section of the tusk divided into two parts by a ribbed encircling device. The king wears a high collar that comes down to cover his shoulders, and a hat with alternating vertical plain and decorated panels and a top-knot. The horse sports a fancy bridle. An item held in the right hand was broken off in the past; otherwise the piece is in good condition, with minor vertical cracks and slight chipping at the open end.

    A highly informative letter from Joseph Nevadomsky (26 November 2002), in addition to discussing provenance, writes about this example: "It is an ideophone representing either the Oba of Benin, his rival the Atah of Idah, or perhaps over time signifies both in the sense that it commemorates a particular historical event crucial to the survival of the Benin Kingdom. In any case the object depicted has seen ceremonial use at the palace of the Oba of Benin".

    This item is sold with a letter of authentication, provenance, and historical information from Dr. Joseph Nevadomsky.

    Provenance: Either the late Chief Edohen or the late Chief Oloton, Benin City;
    Dr. Joseph Nevadomsky, collected in Benin City, late 1970s;
    Thomas D. Slater, Indianapolis;
    Gary Hendershott, Little Rock

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,170

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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