Bronze Festac Mask
Decorative bronze Festac mask from Nigeria and a fine example of the lost wax casting technique. The mask represents the Queen Mother Idia of the Benin Empire who ruled during the 16th century. This image has become an Icon of the Nigerian state is often featured on Banknotes. Queen Idia played a vital role in her Son's millitary conquest of neghbouring tribes and upon her death various commemorative heads and sculptures were commissioned from bronze, ivory and wood to be placed in front of alters. This piece is not antique although owing to the fact that it is bronze determining the age is difficult, it is likley to be of relatively recent production- i.e. late 20th Century. We therefore describe this item as "decorative" rather than of ethnographic significance.