Imagined Palace


This file appears in: Oba's Palace, Benin City, Nigeria
Imagined Palace
Public Domain

The Dutch editor Olfert Dapper published this engraving in 1668, but the illustrator had never seen Benin. Instead, he constructed the image from the description provided by an unnamed Dutch traveler (Jones suggests this may have been the Dutch West India Company's Benin factor, Michiel Evertsen), who wrote "Most of the [a;aces and royal houses in the court are covered with palm-leaves instead of shingles, and each is adorned with a turret tapering to a point, upon which are skilfully wrought copper birds, very life-like, spreading their wings" (Jones translation). The towers actually were flat-topped and pyramidal in structure.


This file appears in: Oba's Palace, Benin City, Nigeria