This is a high-quality replica of one the most iconic 16th century African bronze art works.
The likeness is that of Iyoba Idia a Queen Mother from the historic Kingdom of Benin (now modern day Nigeria): leader, warrior, politician, spiritual guide, and inspiration.
The original and similar works (the famed Benin Bronzes) were looted by the British and are held today in the British Museum.
Original Benin Bronzes have been valued at well over £1M.
This 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: 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 on this garment 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.