Single cast brass figure with Janus head surmounted by small figure holding sword, four arms, the two right arms holding swords, wearing royal coral necklet of Benin. Wearing long tunic and bracelets on left hand. Hole in top that goes down into centre of figure. (Figure represents Esigie/Assigi)
39 Ethnographic specimens from Nigeria (see PDF 'R4689_Acc Register List') for all objects.
Accession register images; dmas_rgregb_1948_d04.tif and dmas_rgregb_1948_d11.tif and dmas_rgregb_1948_d12.tif.
Accession register (dmas_rgregb_1948_d11.tif)
Brass figure of Assigi with Janus head surmounted by small figure holding sword; four arms, the two right arms holding swords; wearing royal coral necklet of Benin. Height 11 1/4 inches. Benin, S.Nigeria
Assigi and Arawan were sons of the Oba of Benin. They were continually set tasks to determine which one was the eldest. Arawan was a giant and could have always won by his strength but Assigi won by his wits. Arawan left double foot prints so that no-one could tell which way he had gone but he was so stupid that he always wore a bell, so that he could be heard coming. The quick wits of Assigi are symbolised by his double head. In one of their contests, they had to leap a river. Arawan jumped it easily but Assigi clung to his robe and reached the other side first.
Charles Grey additional info: birth 26/06/1880, death 12/12/1957. 4th Baronet of Fallodon. Son of Harry George Grey and Charlotte Cockburn Grey. Left no heir so this brother Sir Harry Martin Grey, became 5th Baronet, of Fallodon. Medic in West Africa.