Commemorative Altar Figure of an Oba


This cast brass commemorative altar figure of an Oba is depicted wearing an elaborate beaded coral crown of a type probably introduced during the reign of Oba Osemwende (1816-1848). The figure holds a ceremonial sword, or eben, used by Obas in honouring their ancestors and a proclamation staff, isevbere igho, in the form of a bell. The museum originally bought four figures similar to this one in October 1897 from A. Hewer, who was probably a dealer. A year later one of the four was sold to General Pitt Rivers and another was sent to the Field Museum, Chicago in exchange.