Portuguese crossbowman by Benin

The crossbowman is in a dynamic and European-inspired pose and probably represents a Portuguese soldier.

Details

Medium:
Cast bronze
Dimensions:
35 cm
Acquired in:
1949
Vendor:
Mrs W O Oldman

His knees are bent; he aims his weapon, wearing a sword at the left and a dagger at the right. Below this is a goat's foot lever for drawing the crossbow. This object was produced in the kingdom of Benin, part of Nigeria. It was a part of a large and varied collection of 30 works of ethnographic art, formed by W. O. Oldman, which the Art Fund presented to the nation on account of its 'exceptional merit'.

Provenance

Admiral Rawson, Commander of the Benin Expedition, 1897; Mr W O Oldman.

Venue details

British Museum Great Russell Street, LONDON London WC1B 3DG 020 7323 8299 www.britishmuseum.org

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Daily, 10am – 5.30pm (Fri until 8.30pm)

Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan

Share this article