- Also known as
primary name: Cockin, Maurice
- individual; collector; official; British; Male
- Life dates
- Maurice Stanley Cockin (1882 - 1961) joined the Colonial Service and did two tours of duty as Assistant District Commissioner in southern Nigeria in the years 1911 to 1914, posted to Owo and Ishan, where he formed a collection. He resigned on his marriage and never set foot in Africa again, living henceforth in Mortlake. He served as a captain in the First World War, and was injured. His collection of Nigerian works was formed in those four years, though his wife acquired the collection of Sir Cecil Armitage (qv), formed mainly in the Gold Coast, soon after his death in 1933. Cockin retained his interest in the affairs of Nigeria, writing an article in the Journal of the Royal African Society, XXXVII (October 1938), pp.502-3, on ‘Nigeria’s need for a museum’, castigating the British authorities for their failure to do this. Cockin died in 1961, and his collection was inherited by his daughter Celia Barclay (qv) from whom much passed to the BM.
See William Fagg in BMQ 1962 announcing a new display 'from a large collection of West African art, mainly from Southern Nigeria and from Ashanti in Ghana, which was formed by the late Mr M.S.Cockin and has been deposited on loan in the British Museum by his daughter, Mrs Gordon Barclay. Many of the Nigerian pieces are in little-known styles from the tribes to the north of Benin among whom Mr Cockin served as an administrator before the First World War.'
- British Museum Quarterly, September 1962, news supplement p.2
J.B.Donne, ‘The Celia Barclay collection of African art’, The Connoisseur, 180 1972, pp.88-95.