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LARGE COPPER CAT

Dahomey/Benin

 Large Cat, (Likely a Leopard), Decorated With Copper. Fon Culture, Dahomey Kingdom

Made by fine thin strips of tooled copper each nailed and layer with tiny copper reverts to the heavy wooden body of the animal. The cat with its comical posture with its upturned tail and ears is entirely covered with thin strips of copper, this process alone required a great deal of craftsmanship, skill and time. Over the years the copper surface has acquired a lovely patinated appearance.

Representations of leopards in Dahomey art pertain to the ancestral beginnings of the dynasty - as told in the myth of the divine leopard king of Dahomey, Agasu - and refer to the royal kings, who embody the strength of the leopard.

Estimated Period: It is not known if this piece has been made for traditional use of the early tourist market. Thought to be Mid 20th Century or before.

L: 60 cm

H: 58 cm

Weight – 15 kg

(Click on images to enlarge)

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