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20th Century African Benin Copper Alloy Leopard Aquamanile

Item Details

Artist unknown
Untitled, 20th century
Copper alloy sculpture

A 20th century Benin copper alloy aquamanile in the form of a leopard. The ceremonial leopard ewer stands upright with its undulating tail to be used as a handle and his mouth slightly agape to show teeth, fangs, and protruding tongue. The metal has an overall raised and stylized circular pattern representing the animals fur.

In the Benin culture (present day Nigeria, Africa), leopards were considered the king of the forest and the ewers were used to pour water during ceremonies.


- rusting and embrittlement to metal; areas of metal contain holes; dust and accretions present.


6.5" W x 12.5" H x 20.0" D

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