African designs, £9.99
Height: 37.000 cm
Width: 12.000 cm
Depth: 14.000 cm
Donated by H.V.A. Lambert
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Carving of Queen Victoria
Yoruba people, Nigeria
19th century AD
This figure of Queen Victoria was made by a Yoruba carver. She is shown standing and with her head enlarged in relation to her body. Her face is youthful, and beneath her dress the artist has imaginatively carved a pair of shoes.
During the nineteenth century Africans faced colonisation as European armies fought to establish their own empires, and Nigeria came under British rule. Official and unofficial photographs of Queen Victoria were widely reproduced across Nigeria and other countries in the British empire. These were probably used for reference by skilled Yoruba carvers. The resulting three-dimensional figures of the Queen, of which this is one, included European details of dress and posture created within existing Yoruba carving conventions.