STATUE OF A LION
FON KINGDOM (Benin)
H : 30 cm.
Wood and silver
Dapper - Paris
This royal statue must be linked to King Glele who ruled
over the Kingdom of Dahomey with skill and enlightenment from 1858 to 1889.
Emblem of kingly strength, the lion figures high on the list of totems assigned
to the young crown prince when he was designated by the oracle of Fa and
attributed the name of "king of kings" (kini kini kini). The animal
expresses its anger through its open jaw and bared teeth, its glaring eyes and
cocked ears and tail. Several outside influences (notably Arab) are associated
with the traditional ancient statuary of Benin to create a convincing "power
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