Portuguese crossbowman by Benin

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


Cast bronze
35 cm
Acquired in:
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'.


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 8181 www.britishmuseum.org

Entry details

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