A Victorian white metal mounted human skull, fitted as a dish and cover, the mounts dated 1864
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A Victorian white metal mounted human skull, fitted as a dish and cover, the mounts dated 1864

Details
A Victorian white metal mounted human skull, fitted as a dish and cover, the mounts dated 1864
The cover stamped ELKINGTON LONDON, a white metal panel at the back inscribed Skull of Dahomeyan Amazon Killed at the Storming of Abeokuta -15th.March 1864- Gelelé King of Dahomey led his army in person but was repulsed after delivering three furious assaults with enormous loss, on an ebonised wood base on four bone wheels
8in. (20.3cm.) high overall, 9in. (22.8cm.) long overall
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Dahomey was an African state bordering Egba, the capital city of which, Abeokuta, is now the capital of Ogun State, Nigeria. In the early 19th century the area was governed by the Oyo Empire, but by 1829, this had broken up, and various contingent states gaining limited independance.
Little is known of the warrior women who served the Dahomey Kings of the region, since they did not keep their own records, but they are known to have fought under the Kings of Dahomey against Abeokuta in 1851 and 1864. They were heavily beaten on both occasions, mainly because the fortress at Abeokuta had been armed with canon by the French, whilst the amazons fought with spears and bows. France ultimately annexed the territory in the later 19th century
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