- Museum number
Bell; lost-wax cast in brass. Quadrangular in form with slightly flaring sides and strap handle. Decorated on front panel with leopard's face in low relief with background of concentric arches and stippling. Side panels have angled interlace patterns with stippling, back panel has lozenge pattern with inset circular wheels. Each panel bordered by plaitwork. Iron clapper suspended from hole at top.
- Production date
- 18thC (circa)
Height: 21.10 centimetres
Weight: 1528 grammes
Width: 11.20 centimetres
Depth: 12.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Read & Dalton 1899:
Bell of cast brass, square in form, with flat loop handle; each face has a design produced by means of a punch; the front has a scale pattern, with a leopard's face in relief in the middle. On the two sides is a trellis pattern, and on the back a lozenge design with rosettes; raised borders; iron clapper.
The workmanship and style of this bell are both very poor, and it is inserted as showing how inferior is the comparatively recent Benin metal work.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1970-1973, London, Museum of Mankind, Divine Kingship in Africa
1991 Feb-Apr, Norwich, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Man and Metal in Ancient Nigeria
1993-1997, London, Museum of Mankind, Great Benin: a West African Kingdom
- Good; burnt in casting repairs on back panel of bell.
- Acquisition date
- 18 June 1897
- Acquisition notes
- During the British expedition to Benin City (Edo) in 1897 objects made of brass, bronze, ivory, coral, and wood were looted by British soldiers from the royal palace, its storerooms, and compounds.
Some of these objects were sold or exchanged in West Africa. However, many were brought to the UK where they were retained by soldiers of the expedition and subsequently inherited by their families; put up for auction; or donated, lent, or sold to museums.
See Collection File: Af1897,-.498-563.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Af1897C3.498 (old CDMS no.)