John Lembcke (1873-?) originally came from Mecklenburg and was a Hamburg merchant. He worked as an agent for the trading company L. Pagenstecher & Co. in southern Nigeria. The company maintained several branches in Cameroon and Nigeria and traded raw rubber, among other things.Lembcke was probably employed at a branch of the firm in Warri, from where he went to nearby Benin City. There, he found objects which he eventually brought to Hamburg. Between 1899 and 1905, he sold 40 objects from the Kingdom of Benin to the museum.
Reliefplatte mit Mitglied des Hofstaats
Unbekannte Werkstatt der Bronzegießergilde Igun Eronmwon / Königreich Benin, Nigeria, 16./17. Jh. / Gelbguss / Ankauf von John Lembcke, 1899, Inv. Nr. C 2385
Der hohe Perlenkragen Odigba weist den Dargestellten als Höfling aus. Unklar bleibt was für einen Gegenstand er in seiner Rechten hält, der an einen Schlüsselbund erinnert.
Label Text (eng)
Relief Plaque with a Court Official
Unidentified workshop of the Bronze Casters Guild Igun Eronmwon / Benin Kingdom, Nigeria, 16th/17th century / Brass / Acquired from John Lembcke, 1899, Inv. no. C 2385
The high coral collar Odigba identifies the represented figure as a member of the court.
It remains unclear what kind of object he holds in his right hand that is reminiscent of a bundle of keys.