This beautiful brass figurine is striking and all the more so for being a rare sign of court dwarfs (or jesters?) in Africa. Dated to 14th-15th century Edo, capital of the Kingdom of Benin (not related to the modern-day country of Benin).
GAP MAP: More research needed on African court jesters or court dwarfs – perhaps there weren’t many or we simply don’t have the research. I’d welcome any insights or information on this and will keep my eyes peeled as I work through digital collections.
Image credit: Figure of a Court Dwarf, brass, 14th-15th century, Benin Kingdom (1180-1897); courtesy World Museum Vienna, Austria