In Ghana in particular, the porcupine is revered as a symbol of strength.
This small bronze porcupine - with what appears to be a cob of corn in its mouth - has been cast using the lost wax method. It is likely that this small hollow bronze did not serve as a gold weight, but rather as a shrine piece.
What is lovely about this piece is the way in which the quills have been cast, so that they are raised from the thin cast shell of the animal's body. The patina, and it's feel in the hand, suggest that it is probably early twentieth century - or possibly before. The piece either originates from Northern Ghana or Benin.
H (Excl. Display Stand): 4.5cm
Estimated Period: First Quarter of 20th Century (Or Before)
(Click on images to enlarge)