porto novo/orange revolver/orange revolver

the two guns found no takers on our day at the market and I had started to pack up when a boy called me to a nearby stall, saying someone wanted to see the orange revolver. the potential buyer was an older gentleman who wasn´t well on his feet.
I unwrapped the piece for him and he inquired about the price. it´s 1000 franc, I said, to which he responded that if he had 1000 franc he would spend a nice day in cotonou, the nearby metropolis. he demanded the weapon as a gift and his head started to shake. I began to worry about him and offered it for 500.
the man drove a hard bargain, but it turned out that he was quite wealthy. I was being a businessman, he would say a few days later, when we called at his house.
during the photo shoot he nearly dozed off, with his extended family assembled around him in the courtyard. the man´s brother watched from a tiny window above and we later climbed the winding stairs to his room. there I saw the only newspaper during a whole month spent in benin. I had wanted to pick up a copy from time to time, hoping for engaging headlines like the "killer camel castrated" story I had enjoyed reading in the ahmedabad times the year before.
but in benin, I was told, only the police reads the paper

a cast from a toy gun was made using a simple plaster mold.
the clay is a buff coloured austrian stoneware with orange and red engobes.
there is no glaze, but the surface of the gun has been polished.
the bullet is hand formed from the same clay, but glazed and finshed with platinum luster