This is a unique and high-quality replica of one the most iconic 16th century African bronze art works. In addition, the replica has been treated with real 9ct Gold leaf to create a stunning creation.
The likeness is that of Iyoba Idia - the iconic Queen Mother from the historic Kingdom of Benin (now in modern day Nigeria). She was many things leader, warrior, politician, spiritual guide, and inspiration.
The original bronze and thousands of related works (the famed Benin Bronzes) were looted by the British during a brutal raid on Benin City. Many of these looted items are still held captive in the British Museum, in other institutions, and in private collections.
Original Benin Bronzes have been valued at well over £1M.
This stunning and unique replica can make a great centrepiece for your home, office, studio, and more
This replica matched the dimensions of the original art work: 41cm (h) x 17.8cm (w) x 17.8cm (w). Material: 9ct Gold Leaf, resin & bronze. Weight: 3kg
The 16th century bronze head of Iyoba (Queen Mother) Idia is an iconic work of art. The bronze originates from the Kingdom of Benin (now part of modern-day Nigeria) and features Iyoba Idia’s unique and self-invented ukpe-okhue curved conical headdress. After her death, this bronze was used at altars to commemorate her service to the Kingdom.
The bronze works were one of many examples of sophisticated and complex African art of that period. Many related works were looted during an 1897 British expedition into Benin. The replica featured is that of an artefact held at the British Museum in London.
Iyoba Idia was of the Edo people and the Mother of Oba (King) Esigie, the Oba who ruled the Kingdom of Benin c1504 - c1550. Iyoba Idia was instrumental in enabling her son Esigie’s victory over his brother Arhuaran to ascend to the throne of the Kingdom after the death of their father the Oba Ozolua.
As guardian of the Oba, Iyoba Idia was also seen as the protector of all of the Edo people and the Kingdom of Benin. She also fought as a warrior against the kingdom’s enemies.
Iyoba Idia was not only recognised for nurturing the future Oba, she was also hailed for providing the Oba with exceptional political counsel, spiritual guidance, and medicinal knowledge that enabled the Oba to conquer enemies and unify the kingdom.
In recognition of her contribution to the Kingdom, she was the first Queen Mother to be conferred with the title and political office of ‘Iyoba’. Her power, influence, and leadership were such that she has been referred to as ‘The Hidden Oba of Benin’.
In any time or place, Iyoba Idia provides an exceptional example of commitment, leadership, courage, and service to ones’ people.