From its origins over 30 years ago, São Roque has enjoyed an undisputed reputation for the beauty and rarity of its works of art, in a symbiosis guided by quality and authenticity. A reference for both collectors and international museums, São Roque retains today a preeminent position in the Art and Antiques market in Portugal and worldwide.
16th Century Kingdom of Benin
(present-day Southern Nigeria)
Length: 26.5 cm Sculpted ivory
S.P., Oporto and private collection, Lisbon
Superb spoon featuring a simple rod-like stem of fish-shaped finial. The thread-like nature of its slender stem or handle, contrasts with the curved upper section of the paper-thin ridged bowl.
Not unlike other artworks made by the Yorùbá and Edó peoples, and besides being based on a series of visual and conceptual puns, the iconography of these spoons may convey some ancient stories, myths and oral lore passed down through the generations, probably as traditional proverbs.
This type of object may be among some of the earliest objects produced in Western Africa for the European market.