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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Masterpieces of African Art : Bronze Equestrian Sculpture
Bronze Equestrian Sculpture - SP.102 (LSO)
Origin: Mali or Nigeria
Circa: 18 th Century AD to 19 th Century AD

Collection: African Art
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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This dynamic equestrian figure is a miniature masterpiece from one of several tribal groups in the Mali area, although it also bears a certain resemblance to bronze/brass figures from the Niger River Delta. The issue is the representation of the horse. It is unusually dynamic, with a curved neck and naturalistically rendered proportions. Djenne horses are more angular, Bambara pieces more stylised and Dogon versions more naturalistic. The rider, equally, has no strong affinity with any known group, as Dogon variants have long faces with inverted T- bar noses and other groups have distinct if generalised facial features.

The general look and patination of the piece is excellent. Whatever its origin, it was certain to have been a prestigious object, as horses (and equestrian figures) and metalwork are both expensive and elite within African cultures. Given its size, it is likely to have been a personal piece, possibly commemorating an ancestor or expressing one’s status. This is a superb piece of African art.

- (SP.102 (LSO))


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