Blowing a horn or flute with his right hand, his left arm is truncated. He wears a netted cap with chevron design decorated with a feather. Around his neck are two collars: one of coral, the other of cowrie shells and teeth. He wears a kind of vest decorated with an interlocking design and supported by a strap around his neck. This is attached at the waist to a skirt which is drawn up at the side in a point. A belt is tied in a knot around the waist, and a lower belt with tassels connecting the skirt at the back. The over-skirt has a pattern of human faces, leopard faces, arms, half-moons, and other leaf forms. He wears five bracelets on his right hand. There is an undershirt exposed on the left side which has an interlocking design. The lower border of the outfit has a guilloche pattern.
Until 1897, Benin Kingdom; 1897, reportedly taken from the Royal Palace during the British military raid and occupation of Benin City by an unidentified British agent; before 1950, collection of Sydney Burney, London; by 1950, collection of Sydney Burney and John Hunt, Killmallock, Ireland (owned jointly); April 17, 1950, purchased at Sotheby’s London as “Property of a Gentleman”, Lot 137, by Mr. Alastair Bradley Martin, New York; 1950, loaned by Mr. and Mrs. Alastair Bradley Martin to the Brooklyn Museum; 1955, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair Bradley Martin to the Brooklyn Museum.
Exhibition HistoryExhibition History
Brooklyn Museum, "Double Take: African Innovations," Long-term Installation, October 29, 2014 - March 19, 2017. Brooklyn Museum, "African Innovations," Long-term Installation, August 12, 2011 - September 28, 2014. Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY, "The Power of Bronze: Royal Sculpture from the Kingdom of Benin," November 21, 2004 - February 13, 2005. Brooklyn Museum, “Arts of Africa,” Long-term Installation, May 24, 2001 – June 26, 2011. Brooklyn Museum, "The Guennol Collection: Cabinet of Wonders," February 25 - May 7, 2000. Brooklyn Museum, "Arts of Africa," Long-term Installation, March 9, 1995 – 2001. Miami Center for Fine Arts, Miami, FL, "In Quest of Excellence: Civic Pride, Patronage, Connoisseurship," January 14 - April 22, 1984. Brooklyn Museum, Long-term Installation, 1976 – 1982. Segy Gallery, New York, NY, "African Sculptures from American Private Collections," January 15 - February 15, 1951.
Kevin Stayton, ed., “Brooklyn Museum Highlights” (Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Museum, 2014), 101. Siegmann, William C., Kevin D. Dumouchelle and Joseph Adande. "African Art: a Century at the Brooklyn Museum." New York, NY: Prestel, 2009, cat. 45, 132-33. Brincard, Marie-Thérèse, ed. "The Power of Bronze: Royal Sculpture from the Kingdom of Benin" (exh. cat.). Purchase, NY: Neuberger Museum of Art, 2004, 20-1. Fane, Diana. "The Guennol Collection: Cabinet of Wonders" (exh. cat.). Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Museum, 2000., 34. “Brooklyn Museum of Art” (Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Museum of Art in association with Scala Books, 1997), 54-55. Robbins, Warren M., and Nancy Nooter. "African Art in American Collections." Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989, 214. Brincard, Marie-Thérèse, ed. "Sounding Forms: African Musical Instruments" (exh. cat.). New York, NY: American Federation of Arts, 1989, 178-9, fig. 37. Brooklyn Museum. "Masterpieces in the Brooklyn Museum." New York, NY: Brooklyn Museum and Harry N. Abrams, 1988, 56. Van der Marck, Jan. "In Quest of Excellence: Civic Pride, Patronage, Connoisseurship" (exh. cat.). Miami, FL: Center for the Fine Arts, 1984, 38. Williams, Sylvia H. "African Art at the Brooklyn Museum." African Arts 13, no. 2 (February 1980): 49. Brooklyn Museum. "Brooklyn Museum Handbook." New York, NY, 1967, 270. Tenenbaum, Frieda, and Edward Bryant. "African Sculpture." New York, NY: Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, 1958, fig. 14. Brooklyn Museum. Museum Bulletin XII, no. 2 (Winter 1951), cover illus. Segy Gallery 1951, cat. 12."In the Auction Rooms." Connoisseur: An Illustrated Magazine for Collectors (September 1950): 79.