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Title: Antique Works of Art from Benin - Collected by Lieutenant-General Pitt Rivers
Author: Pitt-Rivers, Augustus Henry Lane-Fox
Language: English
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Collected by

D.C.L., F.R.S., F.S.A.

Inspector of Ancient Monuments in Great Britain, &c.

Printed Privately.

Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to her Majesty,
St. Martin's Lane, W.C.




Benin is situated on the Guinea Coast, near the mouth of the Niger, in
latitude 6·12 north, and longitude 5 to 6 east.

It was discovered by the Portuguese at the end of the fourteenth or
commencement of the fifteenth centuries. The Portuguese were followed
by the Dutch and Swedes, and in 1553 the first English expedition
arrived on the coast, and established a trade with the king, who
received them willingly.

Benin at that time appears by a Dutch narrative to have been quite
a large city, surrounded by a high wall, and having a broad street
through the centre. The people were comparatively civilized. The king
possessed a number of horses which have long since disappeared and
become unknown. Faulkner, in 1825, saw three solitary horses belonging
to the king, which he says no one was bold enough to ride.

In 1702 a Dutchman, named Nyendaeel, describes the city, and speaks
of the human sacrifices there. He says that the people were great
makers of ornamental brass work in his day, which they seem to have
learnt from the Portuguese. It was visited by Sir Richard Burton,
who went there to try to put a stop to human sacrifices, at the time
he was consul at Fernando Po. In 1892 it was visited by Captain H.
L. Galloway, who speaks of the city as possessing only the ruins of
its former greatness; the abolition of the slave trade had put a
stop to the prosperity of the place, and the king had prohibited any
intercourse with Europeans. The town had been reduced to a collection
of huts, and its trade had dwindled down to almost nil. The houses have
a sort of impluvium in the centre of the rooms, which has led some to
suppose that their style of architecture may have been derived from the
Roman colonies of North Africa.

In 1896 an expedition, consisting of some 250 men, with presents and
merchandise, left the British settlements on the coast, and endeavoured
to advance towards Benin city. The expedition was conducted with
courage and perseverance, but with the utmost rashness. Almost
unarmed, neglecting all ordinary precautions, contrary to the advice of
the neighbouring chiefs, and with the express prohibition of the King
of Benin to advance, they marched straight into an ambuscade which had
been prepared for them in the forest on each side of the road, and as
their revolvers were locked up in their boxes at the time, they were
massacred to a man with the exception of two, Captain Boisragon and
Mr. Locke, who, after suffering the utmost hardships, escaped to the
British settlements on the coast to tell the tale.

Within five weeks after the occurrence, a punitive expedition entered
Benin, on 18th January, 1897, and took the town. The king fled, but
was afterwards brought back and made to humiliate himself before his
conquerers, and his territory annexed to the British crown.

The city was found in a terrible state of bloodshed and disorder,
saturated with the blood of human sacrifices offered up to their Juju,
or religious rites and customs, for which the place had long been
recognised as the "city of blood."

What may be hereafter the advantages to trade resulting from this
expedition it is difficult to say, but the point of chief interest in
connection with the subject of this paper was the discovery, mostly in
the king's compound and the Juju houses, of numerous works of art in
brass, bronze, and ivory, which, as before stated, were mentioned by
the Dutchman, Van Nyendaeel, as having been constructed by the people
of Benin in 1700.

These antiquities were brought away by the members of the punitive
expedition and sold in London and elsewhere. Little or no account of
them could be given by the natives, and as the expedition was as usual
unaccompanied by any scientific explorer charged with the duty of
making inquiries upon matters of historic and antiquarian interest,
no reliable information about them could be obtained. They were found
buried and covered with blood, some of them having been used amongst
the apparatus of their Juju sacrifices.

A good collection of these antiquities, through the agency of Mr.
Charles Read, F.S.A., has found its way into the British Museum; others
no doubt have fallen into the hands of persons whose chief interest in
them has been as relics of a sensational and bloody episode, but their
real value consists in their representing a phase of art--and rather
an advanced stage--of which there is no actual record, although no
doubt we cannot be far wrong in attributing it to European influence,
probably that of the Portuguese some time in the sixteenth century.

  A. P. R.

  _April, 1900_.


Fig. 1.--Bronze plaque, representing two warriors with broad
leaf-shaped swords in their right hands. Coral or agate head-dress.
Coral chokers, badge of rank. Leopards' teeth necklace. Coral scarf
across shoulder. Leopards' heads hanging on left sides. Skirts each
ornamented with a human head. Armlets, anklets, etc. Ground ornamented
with the usual foil ornament incised.

Fig. 2.--Bronze plaque, representing two figures holding plaques or
books in front. Coral chokers, badge of rank. Reticulated head-dresses
of coral or agate, similar to that represented in Plate XXI, Fig. 121.
Barbed objects of unknown use behind left shoulders, ornamented with
straight line diaper pattern. Ground ornamented with foil ornaments
incised. Guilloche on sides of plaque.

Fig. 3.--Bronze plaque, representing three warriors, two with feathers
in head-dress and trefoil leaves at top; one with pot helmet, button
on top. The latter has a coral choker, badge of rank, and all have
leopards' teeth necklaces. The central figure has a cylindrical case on
shoulder. Two have hands on their sword-hilts. All three have leopards'
heads on breast, and quadrangular bells hanging from neck. Leopards'
skins and other objects hang on left sides. Ground ornamented with foil
ornaments incised.

Fig. 4.--Bronze plaque, figure of warrior with spear in right hand,
shield on left shoulder. Head-dress of coral or agate, similar to that
represented in Plate XXI, Fig. 121. Quadrangular bell hanging from
neck. Chain-like anklets. Coral choker, badge of rank, and leopards'
teeth necklace. A nude attendant on right upholds a large broad
leaf-shaped sword, with a ring attached to pommel. Another holds two
sistri or bells fastened together by a chain. Small figure on left
is blowing an elephant's tusk trumpet. Figures above in profile are
holding up tablets or books. The dress of one of them is fastened with
tags or loops of unusual form. These figures have Roman noses, and are
evidently not negro. Ground ornamented with the usual foil ornament


Figs. 5 and 6.--Bronze plaque, representing a warrior in centre,
turned to his left. He has a beard and a necklace of leopards' teeth,
but no coral choker. He has a high helmet, somewhat in the form of a
grenadier cap. Quadrangular bell on neck. Dagger in sheath on right
side, and various appurtenances hanging from his dress. He holds a
narrow leaf-shaped sword in his right hand over an enemy who has
fallen, and who has already a leaf-shaped sword thrust through his
body. The victim has a sword-sheath on left side, with broad end,
and a peculiar head-dress. His horse is represented below with an
attendant holding it by a chain and carrying barbed darts in his left
hand. On the right of the conqueror is a small figure blowing a tusk
trumpet, and on his right a larger figure carrying a shield in his left
hand and a cluster of weapons. He has a high helmet, ornamented with
representations of cowrie shells of nearly the same form as that of the
central figure. Above are two figures, one blowing what appears to be a
musical instrument and the other carrying a barbed pointed implement,
and armed with a sword in sheath similar to that of the fallen warrior.
The plaque appears to represent a victory of some kind, and all the
conquerors have the same high helmet. The ground is ornamented with the
usual foil ornament incised.

Figs. 7 and 8.--Bronze plaque, representing a king or noble on
horseback sitting sideways, his hands upheld by attendants, one of
whom has a long thin sword in his hand in sheath. Two attendants, with
helmets or hair represented by ribs, are holding up shields to shelter
the king from the sun. The king or noble has a coral choker, badge of
rank, with a coral necklace hanging on breast. Horse's head-collar hung
with crotals. A small attendant carries a "manilla" in his hand. The
two figures above are armed with bows and arrows. Ground ornamented
with foil ornaments incised.

 De Bry, "India Orientalis," says that in the sixteenth century both
 the king and chiefs were wont to ride side-saddle upon led horses.
 They were supported by retainers, who held over their heads either
 shields or umbrellas, and accompanied by a band of musicians playing
 on ivory horns, gong-gongs, drums, harps, and a kind of rattle.


Fig. 9.--Bronze plaque, naked figure of boy; hair in conventional
bands; three tribal marks over each eye and band on forehead. Coral
choker, badge of rank. Armlets and anklets. Four rosettes on ground
and usual foil ornaments. De Bry says that all young people went naked
until marriage.

Fig. 10.--Bronze plaque, figure of warrior with helmet or hair
represented by ribs. Leaf-shaped sword upheld in right hand. A bundle
of objects on head upheld by left hand. Object resembling a despatch
case on left side, fastened by a belt over right shoulder. Human mask
on left side. Four fishes on ground, and the usual foil ornaments

Figs. 11 and 12.--Bronze plaque, representing a figure holding a ball,
perhaps a cannon ball, in front. Coral choker, badge of rank. Three
tribal marks over each eye. Crest on head-dress, feather in cap. Skirt
wound up behind left shoulder. Skirt ornamented with a head and hands.
Four rosettes on ground, and usual foil ornaments incised. Guilloche on
sides of plaque.


Fig. 13.--Bronze plaque, figure of warrior, feather in cap; broad
leaf-shaped sword in right hand. Coral choker, badge of rank. Leopards'
teeth necklace. Coral sash; ground ornamented with leaf-shaped foil,
ornaments incised.

Figs. 14 and 15.--Bronze ægis or plaque, with representations of two
figures with staves in their right hands. Coral chokers, badge of rank.
On the breasts are two Maltese crosses hanging from the necks, which
appear to be European Orders. The objects held in left hands have been
broken off. The hats are similar to that on the head of the figure,
Fig. 91, Plate XV. Ground ornamented with the usual foil ornaments

Fig. 16.--Bronze plaque, figure of warrior with pot helmet, button on
top. Coral choker, badge of rank, on neck. Leopards' teeth necklace.
Quadrangular bell on breast. Armlets, anklets, &c. Four rosettes on
ground, and the usual foil ornaments incised.

Fig. 17.--Bronze plaque, figure of warrior with spear in right hand,
shield in left hand; pot helmet, button on top. Quadrangular bell
hanging from neck. Coral choker, badge of rank. Leopards' teeth
necklace. Leopard's skin dress with head to front. On the ground are
two horses' heads below and two rosettes above. Ground ornamented with
the usual foil ornaments incised.

Fig. 18.--Bronze plaque, figure of warrior. Peculiarly ornamented
head-dress. Coral choker, badge of rank. Leopards' teeth necklace.
Broad leaf-shaped sword in right hand. Coral sash on breast. Leopard's
mask hanging on left side. Armlets, anklets, &c. Small figure of boy,
naked, to right, holding a metal dish with lid in form of an ox's head.
A similar object may be seen amongst the Benin objects in the British


Figs. 19, 20 and 21.--Stained ivory carving of figure on horse. Coral
choker; spear in right hand, the shaft broken. Tribal marks on forehead
incised. Chain-bridle or head-collar. Degenerate guilloche pattern on
base. Straight line diaper pattern represented in various parts. The
stand formed as a socket for a pole.

Figs. 22, 23 and 24.--Ivory carving of figure on horse, with spear in
right hand and bell on neck, and long hair. The bridle formed as a
head-collar. Degenerate guilloche pattern on base. The stand formed as
a socket for a pole ornamented with bands of interlaced pattern and the
head of an animal.


Figs. 25 and 26.--Ivory carving of a human face. Eyes and bands on
forehead inlaid. Straight line diaper pattern on head-dress, above
which are conventionalised mud-fish. Four bands of coral across
forehead. Ears long and narrow. Found hidden in an oaken chest inside
the sleeping apartment of King Duboar.

Fig. 27.--Carved wooden panel, consisting of a chief in the centre;
broad leaf-shaped sword, with ring attached to pommel, upheld in right
hand, studded with copper nails, and ornamented with representations
of itself. In left hand a fan-shaped figure terminating in two hands.
Coral choker, badge of rank. Bell on neck and cross-belts. Skirt
ornamented with three heads and a guilloche pattern of three bands
with pellets. Anklets. Attendant on left holding umbrella over chief's
head. Serpent with human arm and hand in its mouth, head upwards;
eyes of inlaid glass; body studded with copper nails. Leopard, drawn
head upwards. On right, figure with jug in left hand and cup in right
hand, standing in a trough or open vessel. Small attendant with paddle
in right hand. At top a bottle bound with grass, and figure of some
object, perhaps a stone celt bound with grass. Brass and iron screws
are used for ornamentation in this carving. Guilloche pattern of two
bands without pellets around the edge of the panel.

Figs. 28, 29 and 30.--Ivory carved tusk, 4 feet 1 inch long from
bottom to point; traversed by five bands of interlaced strap-work. The
other ornamentation consists of:--Human figures with hands crossed on
breast; bird standing on pedestal; human figures with hands holding
sashes; trees growing downwards; a rosette; mudfish; crocodiles with
heads upwards; a serpent with sinuous body, head downwards; two
cups; a serpent, head upwards; detached human heads. Some of the
representations are so rude that it requires experience to understand
their meaning. On this tusk the interlaced pattern is the prevailing
ornament, and it passes into the guilloche pattern. This tusk is more
tastefully decorated than the other tusk, Figs. 167 and 168, Plate
XXVI, but with less variety in the carving. These carved tusks are said
to represent gods in the Ju-ju houses.


Figs. 31 and 32.--Ivory carving of female. The design as rude as found
in any part of Africa. Necklet and armlets the same as on the bronze

Fig. 33.--Ivory cup, stained brown.

Fig. 34.--Bronze drinking cup, the same as represented in wood-carving,
Fig. 27, Plate VI.

Figs. 35 and 36.--Lion in bronze. The back is cut in a curved line, as
if adapting it as a foot to some object.

Fig. 37.--Bracelet of brass, somewhat twisted.

Fig. 38.--Bracelet of brass, with five projections set with agate.

Figs. 39 and 40.--Brass bracelet, with negro heads of copper inlaid.
Mud-fish springing from nose on each side and turned up. Coral chokers,
badges of rank. The ring is decorated with incised floral ornaments.


Figs. 41 and 42.--Figure of a warrior in bronze, with leopard's skin
dress; javelins in one hand and shield in the other. Head-dress of
peculiar form, with feathers. Leopards' teeth necklace. Quadrangular
bell on breast.

Figs. 43 and 44.--Female figure in bronze, holding up a tablet in right
hand. Head-dress, necklace, &c., of coral or agate. Three tribal marks
over each eye.

Figs. 45 and 46.--Bronze vessel, somewhat in the form of a coffee-pot.
Handle at back, consisting of a snake with a sinuous body, head
downwards, holding a full-length human figure in its mouth. The spout
consists of a human figure, seated, with two tails; and the spout
springs out of the mouth between the teeth of the figure. Round the
swell of the vessel are four figures resembling frogs, the bodies
ornamented as human heads; nearly similar ornaments are seen on Mexican
stone carvings in this collection. The four feet resemble human feet
with anklets, all pointing to the front. The lid is ornamented with a
human figure seated and four masks, and is fastened to the pot by a

Figs. 47 and 48.--Bracelet of bronze, ornamented with two rudely formed
human heads; some of the yellow earth of the mould appears to be
adhering to the interstices.


Figs. 49 and 50.--Narrow armlet of brass, with a succession of animals
(? Lizards) in relief on the edge.

Figs. 51 and 52.--Bronze pointed dish on stand, with ribbed cover,
rabbetted. Use unknown; perhaps an European ecclesiastical utensil.

Figs. 53 to 55.--Head of a mace, ornamented with leopard and keepers
and heads in bas-relief; decorated with interlaced strap-work, with
brass inlaid in copper. The human heads are partly negro, whilst others
from their straight hair appear to be white men, perhaps Arabs or
cross-breds. The mud-fish is represented one on each side. Described by
Mr. H. Ling Roth in "The Reliquary," Vol. IV, 1898, p. 162.

Figs. 56 and 57.--Bronze bottle or power flask, representing a female
with barbed arrow-points extending from both sides of the mouth;
perhaps symbolical; and holding a four-pronged instrument in the right
hand. Three tribal marks over each eye; coral necklace.


Figs. 58 and 59.--Leopard's mask head of brass, the pupils of the eyes
represented by a copper band. A band of copper inlaid along the nose
and forehead. A barbed figure on each cheek.

Figs. 60 and 61.--Leopard's mask head of brass, the pupils of the eyes
represented by bands. A barbed figure on each cheek. Eyelets along the
edges, perhaps to receive crotals as in Figs. 58 and 59.

Figs. 62 and 63.--Leopard's head in brass, the spots and pupils of eyes
in copper. This appears to have been attached with a leather thong to
the dress.

Figs. 64 and 65.--Bronze vase. The design appears to be purely native.
It is ornamented with four human masks, two of which are ribbed. There
are two elephants' heads with tusks, but no trunks over each ribbed
head. Four bands of plain guilloche pattern arranged vertically between
the heads. Concentric circles. Thickness of metal on unornamented
parts, 2 mm.


Figs. 66 to 72.--The historic mace of office of Duboar, late King of
Benin; 5 feet 4 inches long, and made of brass. This was found by
an officer of the expedition in the state apartment of the palaver
house, and was evidently left behind by the king's people on account
of its heavy weight, in their hurried exodus from Benin city; the
king is said to have since recognized this staff, and stated that it
had been handed down for many hundreds of years from king to king.
It has the representation of "Overami," or reigning monarch, on the
summit, dressed in the usual manner of Benin warriors. He is standing
on an elephant which has a proboscis terminating in a human hand. This
peculiarity is represented very often in the bronze antiquities of the
Benin country, and especially on the carved tusk, Figs. 167 and 168,
Plate XXVI, and must probably represent some great fetish; the present
race, on enquiries being made, could not elucidate this matter, so its
history must date back many ages. This elephant is in turn supported
by the usual two royal leopards. The monarch holds in his right hand
his chief ju-ju, which never leaves him night or day; in his left
hand he holds a neolithic or stone axe head, edge upwards, which are
looked up to by the natives even now with great awe and superstition.
The interior of the upper part of the mace is hollow, having a piece
of metal inside, formed like a long crotal, and was used as a bell
to keep order. The broad leaf-shaped swords and the execution swords
are depicted in several places over the mace. It is ornamented with
guilloche pattern of two and three bands with intervening pellets.
Part of the mace is ornamented in imitation of twine binding. Near the
foot of the staff is the figure of another elephant with proboscis
terminating in a human hand, holding a plant like a prickly-pear.
Beneath the elephant are two human figures, with Maltese crosses on
breasts, axes in left hands, and sticks in right. Below this are two
axes hafted in serpents' heads, which have human hands in their mouths
and sinuous bodies. Crocodile, head downwards, and two interlaced


Figs. 73 to 75.--Three triangular brass bells. Fig. 73 has a negro head
in relief on the front and fish-scale pattern.

Fig. 74 has the eyes, nose and mouth of a human face only.

Fig. 75 has a spiral in place of a face.

Figs. 76 to 78.--Sistrum in brass, representing two cups, the lower
one ornamented with a figure holding a ball. The upper figures on each
side represent a king with the arms upheld by attendants on both sides;
on one side the attendants are kneeling. A hand holding a plaque or
book is represented on each side. Crotals are attached to the sistrum
on both sides. A stand in form of a socket to fit a pole and a band
ornamented with interlaced strap-work. This object appears certainly to
be a sistrum, as human figures are shown in some of the plaques holding
them in their hands and striking them with a rod to produce a sound.
A similar instrument in iron, modern, is figured by Mr. Ling Roth, in
"The Reliquary," Vol. IV, 1898, p. 165, from the Yoruba country.


Figs. 79 to 81.--Figure of a warrior on horseback. Spear in right
hand, the blade having an ogee corrugated section, similar to those
used in all parts of Africa where metal blades are used. The edges of
the blade are bent over by rough usage, which makes it look like a
spoon. The duct for the metal runs from the head of the horse. Darts
in left hand. The ends of the spear and darts are bent inwards, as if
by rough usage. The chain halter is similar to those seen on other
horses and is used as a bridle, held by the little finger of the left
hand. A circular shield, similar to the one in this collection (Plate
XVIII, Fig. 102), though differently decorated, is slung on the left
side over the thigh. The spurs attached to the legs have four points
arranged horizontally. The figure has a leopard's skin on front and
back, ornamented with representations of cowrie shells. The coat and
collar bordered with interlaced strap-work. Dagger on right side.
Crown, apparently of feathers, on head. Base ornamented with interlaced
strap-work or guilloche pattern. The horse is fairly well formed.
The hair conventionalized in straight lines. The face is that of a


Figs. 82 and 83.--Well-formed bronze head of a negress. Reticulated
head-dress of agate or coral. Coral necklace. Pendant of agate on
centre of forehead. The pupils of the eyes inlaid apparently with iron.
The upper lip has been inlaid probably with brass. Eleven bands of
coral or agate hang from the head-dress on each side. Well-formed ears.
This and Figs. 88 and 89, Plate XV, and Figs. 98 and 99, Plate XVII,
are the best formed heads in the collection.

Figs. 84 and 85.--Bronze figure firing a gun, probably representing an
European, with beard, presenting a flint-lock gun. The barrel of the
gun is broken off at the left hand. European morion of the sixteenth
century on head, ornamented with interlaced strap-work. Sword or
cutlass with European guard and a flint-lock pistol slung on left
side. On the right side, a dagger. Armour ornamented with strap-work
or interlaced work. On the pedestal are represented two flint-lock
pistols, a cross-bow, a three-pronged spear, two figures holding guns
and interlaced strap-work.


Figs. 86 and 87.--Brass head inlaid with a copper band along the nose.
The pupils of the eyes inlaid with iron. Reticulated head-dress of
coral or agate. Three tribal marks over each eye. Conventionalized
mud-fish in a frill around neck.

Figs. 88 and 89.--Well-formed head in bronze, the forehead decorated
with two inlaid bands and four raised tribal marks over each eye. The
pupils of the eyes inlaid apparently with iron. Coral necklace. The
hair in conventional bands of ridges; the ears unusually well formed.

Figs. 90 and 91.--Human figure standing in bronze. Negro features.
Three tribal marks over each eye. Curved lines of circles and
hatchings above and below the eyes. Three radiating lines branching
from the corners of the mouth. Pot helmet, with brim and reticulated
ornamentation. The ears are very rudely formed. An object somewhat
resembling a key or axe in the left hand. There appears to have been
a staff or pole in the right hand. A cross with equal arms hangs on
the breast by a chain, apparently resembling a religious order. The
skirt only slightly tucked up on left side, ornamented with a guilloche
pattern of two bands. A rough cast. This figure is very similar to
Figs. 293 and 294, Plate XXXVIII.

Figs. 92 and 93.--Female, in bronze, with staff in left hand. Skirt
ornamented with three bands of guilloche pattern. Head-dress of coral
or agate. Coral choker, and tribal marks.


Figs. 94 and 95.--Bronze cast of human head. Negro features. Three
tribal marks over each eye. Pupils of eyes inlaid with iron.
Reticulated head-dress and rosettes of coral or agate, similar to that
represented in Plate XXI, Fig. 121. Coral choker, badge of rank. Twelve
bands of coral and a band apparently of plaited hair hanging from
head-dress on each side.

Figs. 96 and 97.--Human head in brass. Marked negro features, tattoed
with dots and hatchings above and below the eyes. Branch-like figures,
perhaps coral, growing out of the eyes. Three tribal marks over each
eye. Pupils of eyes inlaid with iron. Reticulated head-dress and
rosettes, of coral or agate, similar to those represented in Plate XXI,
Fig. 121. Peculiar figures on each side of the head-dress, perhaps
representing feathers. Coral choker, badge of rank. Bands of coral or
agate hang down from the head-dress at the sides and back of the head.
On the projecting base are represented two leopards, an ox's head, and
other animals, four arms and hands, and a neolithic celt in front.


Figs. 98 and 99.--Well-formed head in bronze, the forehead decorated
with two inlaid bands and four raised cicatrices (tribal marks) over
each eye. The pupils of the eyes inlaid apparently with iron, coral
necklace, a badge of rank. The metal is very thin, being only 1 mm. in
thickness. The hair in conventional bands of ridges; the ears unusually
well formed.

Figs. 100 and 101.--Bronze cast of human head. Marked negro features,
rudely formed. Three tribal marks over each eye. Peculiar pointed
reticulated head-dress of coral or agate. Curious lines of incised
circles above and below the eyes. Coral choker, badge of rank. Bands of
coral or agate hanging down on both sides and at the back. Ears badly
formed. The projecting base ornamented with a guilloche pattern of two
bands with pellets.


Fig. 102.--Brass shield, 2 feet in diameter and ·08 inch in thickness,
ornamented with three concentric rings. The outer one represents a row
of leopards, with human heads and head-dresses alternating. A broad
leaf-shaped sword, similar to Fig. 106, and two execution swords,
similar to Fig. 110, are also represented on this ring. The middle
ring is ornamented with a serpent with sinuous body, having its tail
in its mouth. The inner ring is filled with foil ornaments, and small
circles cover both this and the outer ring. There is a square hole in
the centre for the attachment of the handle. The shield resembles that
slung on the left hip of the mounted warrior, Figs. 79 to 81, Plate
XIII, but with different ornamentation.

Fig. 103.--Iron dart, or spear, 5 feet 1 inch long, with wooden shaft.
The blade is leaf-shaped with socket, and is rudely forged.

Fig. 104.--Iron dart, 3 feet 7-1/4 inches long, with barbed head and
iron shaft.

Fig. 105.--Iron dagger, or short sword, length 16-1/4 inches; the
incised ornamentation is on alternate sides, like those of the Gaboon
and other parts of Africa. There are also sinuous lines engraved on
alternate sides. It is rudely forged, and the handle is very small and
bound with strips of copper.

Fig. 106.--Iron leaf-shaped sword, length 19-1/4 inches, similar in
form to those frequently represented in the hands of warriors on the
plaques. It is rudely forged. The wooden handle is inlaid with copper.

Fig. 107.--Iron leaf-shaped sword, length 19-1/2 inches, with
alternating ornamentation on the opposite sides of the blade, similar
to that prevailing in the Gaboon and other parts of Africa. The handle
is very small, and is bound with strips of iron.

Figs. 108 and 109.--Brass implement, resembling a bill-hook. The edge
is on the convex side and the concave side is blunt. It is pierced with
five holes and engraved with hatchings in Benin style, in which are
included two stars, a cross, and three crocodiles.

Fig. 110.--Iron execution sword, 3 feet 1 inch long, hilt and pommel
of brass, with copper inlaid ornamentation. The grip bound with brass
wire. It is single-edged, the edge being on the convex side. It
resembles the swords engraved on the circular shield, Fig. 102, one
on each side of the broad leaf-shaped sword. This kind of sword is
held in the hands of warriors on two plaques in this collection, Fig.
254, Plate XXXIII, and Fig. 291, Plate XXXVIII. It is also seen on the
carved cocoa-nut, Fig. 220, Plate XXX, and elsewhere. It is rudely


Fig. 111.--Bronze ægis, representing a chief standing with attendants
holding up his hands in a manner similar to Figs. 76-78, Plate XII, and
Figs. 167 and 168, Plate XXVIII. Frogs between the feet. Cylindrical
spikes on head-dresses.

Fig. 112.--Bronze ægis, representing man on horseback to left,
wearing single-edged sword with guard. A ranseur of the sixteenth or
seventeenth century in right hand, point down. The hair is straight and
combed out, and may probably represent a white man. The chain bridle is
held up in left hand. Small crotals with chains hang from the eyelets
on the edge of the ægis. Pattern of fish-scales on ground similar to
that on the brass bell, Fig. 73, Plate XII, and elsewhere.

Figs. 113 and 114.--Bronze plaque, representing a figure standing;
long spear, multibarbed, with ogee-sectioned blade in right hand,
pointing downwards, knob at butt end. There are twelve ducts running
from the ground of the plaque to the shaft of the spear. In left hand
a broad leaf-shaped sword, with a ring attached to pommel, like Figs.
4, 13, 114, 131, 254, 255, &c. Dress like a nightshirt, and composed
apparently of strings of coral, with bare arms. Dagger or short sword
on left side. Quadrangular bell on neck; teeth necklace; coral choker,
badge of rank. Head-dress of metal, in form somewhat resembling
a grenadier cap. Six rosettes on ground, and quatrefoil leaves


Fig. 115.--Brass key, a good deal filed and tooled all over. Handle
ornamented with twisted rope pattern. The form of this key cannot be
identified as Roman, and is probably European.

Fig. 116.--Bronze stand for the game of mancala, with ten holes and
two irregular-shaped cavities in the centre. It is the same game as
Figs. 184 and 185, Plate XXVIII, but with fewer holes. The sides are
ornamented with interlaced strap-work, and the stem and the edge of
the base with varieties of guilloche pattern. This game is distributed
nearly all over Africa, and is said to be found wherever Arab influence
is seen. It is also found in Palestine, Syria, Arabia, Maldive Islands,
India, Ceylon, Malay Peninsula, Java, and the Philippine Islands.

Fig. 117.--Brass bell, with reticulated pierced work. Negro head on
front. This bell is interesting as being a survival of the bells so
often seen hanging from the necks of the figures on the plaques. It is
evident that it never could have emitted any sound.

Fig. 118.--Entire tortoise shell, upper and under sides, in brass;
ornamented on the upper side with geometrical pattern; each figure
inlaid with a copper bolt or stud in the centre.

Figs. 119 and 120.--Bronze human head for holding carved elephants'
tusks. The head-dress, pointed and reticulated, representing coral
or agate. Four tribal marks over each eye. Six vertical bands of
inlaid iron-work over the nose. The pupils of the eyes are of iron.
The head-dress resembles Figs. 100 and 101, Plate XVII. Coral choker.
Guilloche pattern on projecting base.


Fig. 121.--Head-dress composed entirely of agate. It serves to explain
the construction of the head-dresses on the bronze plaques and figures,
showing how the reticulated effect on the plaques is formed by beads
of agate strung together in a kind of network. The rosettes of agate,
and the tags and pendants are also explained by this figure. See Figs.
2, 4, 43, 44, 82, 83, 86, 87, 94, 95, 96, 97, 100, 101, 119, 120, 124,
125, 126, 127, 232-234, 277, 278, &c.

Figs. 122 and 123.--Circular brass box, ornamented on the top with a
central figure in repoussé work, holding two crocodiles upright in each
hand. The legs terminate in a band turned up on each side as shown
in other designs in Benin art. There are also circular heads having
tribal marks over the eyes. Rosettes, guilloche and fish-scale patterns
are also represented in repoussé. The pieces of the box are rivetted
together with bands of copper. This appears to be the kind of box
represented in the hands of one of the smaller figures in the plaque,
Fig. 179, Plate XXVII. The latter, however, is taller. These objects
have been described by Mr. C. Read as drums in his paper in the "Journ.
Anthrop. Inst.," Vol. XXVII, Plate XVIII, Fig. 4. Viewed as a drum, the
projecting flanges at top and bottom are not explained.

Figs. 124 and 125.--Human mask of brass; the pupils of the eyes inlaid
with iron. Reticulated head-dress, with rosettes probably of agate.
Three tribal marks over each eye. Rows of semi-circles filled with
semi-circles round neck. The features are rounded, and, although a good
deal tooled, are less flattened by filing than some of these masks.
This is a good specimen of Benin art.

Figs. 126 and 127.--Human mask of brass; the pupils of the eyes inlaid
with iron. Reticulated head-dress, with rosettes probably of agate.
Coral band above the forehead. Three tribal marks over each eye. Ears
badly formed. Coral choker, badge of rank. Guilloche pattern, with
pellets round neck. The face is very much tooled and filed, and the
lips and nose flattened by filing. Crotals have probably been suspended
from the eyelets below, as indicated by the eight links of chains left
remaining (see Plate XIX, Fig. 112).


Fig. 128.--Armlet entirely of brass, without other metal. Ornamented
with four upright figures and four horizontal heads. The upright
figures have their forearms elevated. The legs are very attenuated
and the skirt of the dress very pronounced. Eyebrows extremely
prominent, and the head-dress of peculiar form and conical. The armlet
is surmounted by raised bands, which pass over the figures, and are
separated by pierced work. Broad rims are shown at top and bottom, and
are edged with herring-bone pattern.

Fig. 129.--Bronze plaque, representing human figure with beard, riding
to right; a ranseur of the sixteenth or seventeenth century in right
hand, point downwards. Hair combed out straight. No tribal marks.
Bodice fastened with buttons. Pleated kilt like Figs. 235 and 236,
Plate XXXI, and Fig. 247, Plate XXXII. Twisted or plaited bridle of
some limp substance in left hand. Bell and crotals on horse's neck.
Leopards in relief behind figure of horse. Ground ornamented with
trefoil leaves and punch-marks. This figure does not appear to be
negro. The horse appears to be galloping, which is not the usual Benin
method of locomotion.

Fig. 130.--Bronze plaque, representing two warriors with long, narrow,
leaf-shaped swords upheld in right hands. Peculiar head-dress, a broad
band on the frontal. Hair parted in the middle and hanging down behind.
One figure has a beard. Both have objects resembling bows slung upon
left arm. Leopards' teeth necklaces and quadrangular bells hanging from
necks. Ground ornamented with leaf-shaped foil ornaments incised.

Fig. 131.--Bronze plaque, representing five figures; central figure
holding a staff of unusual form in right hand; coral choker; oval
head-dress; small bells attached to straps hanging down from girdle;
anklets and armlets, the former adorned with crotals; left hand on
handle of sword in scabbard on left side. Small figures on each side
with javelins, the points in a sheath. The larger attendants on each
side holding shields over the central figure, as described by De Bry
in the seventeenth century. All the attendants have a bag on right
side, strapped over shoulder. One of the smaller attendants has a broad
leaf-shaped sword upheld in right hand, holding it by the ring attached
to the pommel.


Figs. 132 and 133.--Small head of boy, in bronze, with three raised
tribal marks over each eye, and two vertical marks on forehead.
Head-dress with crest.

Fig. 134.--Figures in bronze, representing two rude human figures, male
and female, attending an animal, probably a bear. A plate, or board, of
three rows of circles with ten circles in each row, is laid out before
the figures, and is perhaps a game of mancala, of which examples are
seen in Plate XX, Fig. 116, and Plate XXVIII, Figs. 184 and 185. The
female figure has very large anklets, and her hands are spread upon
her stomach. The hair is plaited and ornamented with knobs, resembling
a Mexican pottery figure in this collection. The hair of the male
figure is plaited and turned over on the left side, and he is sitting
cross-legged. His left arm and hand are spread upon the bear, and he
has a rod in the right hand. A burnt core of sand is seen under the
thin metal pedestal.

Fig. 135.--Brass bottle, hung by chain, and ornamented with
representation of twisted twine, and a guilloche pattern without
pellets round the swell. The rings for hanging it are similar to those
on the powder flask, Figs. 56 and 57, Plate IX. A similar brass bottle,
but smaller, is represented in Plate XXXV, Fig. 267.

Figs. 137 and 138.--A very rude head of bronze; probably used as the
stand for a carved tusk. Four tribal marks over each eye; the eyes
projecting like those of Figs. 265-6, Plate 35. This is the rudest head
in the collection.

Fig. 139.--A cylindrical stand of bronze, for carved tusks,
representing on the outside four female figures standing, with bands
of upright interlaced strap-work between. All the figures are holding
objects in their hands. One holds a bird, another a sistrum, which is
being beaten with a stick; the rest are broken. Two of the bands of
interlaced strap-work are of thin repoussé work, and nailed on with
bronze nails. The base and top are ornamented with looped straps,
similar to No. 140. All the figures have three incised tribal marks
over the eyes, and crested head-gear. A vertical hole for the carved
tusk runs down the centre, like those in all the human heads.

Fig. 140.--Armlet of brass, pierced work, ornamented with bands of
looped straps, similar to Fig. 139, and two bands of concentric
semicircles alternating with Maltese crosses. Around the centre is a
band of broken guilloche pattern, forming a transitional link between
the guilloche, and a peculiar floral ornament common to Benin art. The
representation of European screw-heads forms part of the ornamentation,
and raised eyelets alternate with the screw-head ornaments.

Fig. 141.--Armlet of copper, ornamented with horizontal human heads of
brass. The head-dresses are ornamented with fish-scale pattern, and the
hair is combed out straight. The heads alternate with double-coiled
mud-fish, resembling Fig. 276, Plate XXXVI. It is not quite easy to
understand how this work was done. Both the copper and the brass appear
to have been formed by casting.


Fig. 142.--Bronze open-mouthed vessel, with six projecting eyelets
round the neck, and a handle.

Figs. 143 and 144.--Bronze or brass figure of cock, 22 inches high,
including pedestal. The feathers are represented in straight and
curved lines of hatchings. The pupils of the eyes are inlaid copper,
of lozenge-shaped form. The tarsus is unnaturally broad. On the top of
the pedestal in front is a Maltese cross, with a band of interlaced
strap-work. The sides of the base are ornamented with interlaced
strap-work, and representations of three ox's heads are on the front. A
fine specimen of barbaric art.

Figs. 145 and 146.--Human naked figure of bronze. A large thick plaster
covers the whole of the back, and is fastened on with cords round the
arms and legs. Mr. H. Ling Roth believes this to represent a cure for
cretinism, and says that two larger figures like it have been seen in
Benin city. ("Reliquary," Vol. IV, 1898, p. 173.)

Figs. 147 and 148.--Two bronze female figures back to back, with one
hat, being the handle of one of the swords or wands (see Figs. 202 to
211, Plate XXIX), used by virgins in their dances. There is a large
iron pin right through the casting.

Figs. 149 and 150.--Bronze head of girl. Three tribal marks incised
over each eye; pupils of eyes of iron, inlaid; necklace of agate or

Figs. 151 and 152.--Brass vessel, resembling a coffee pot. A human
figure sitting in front, out of the mouth of which the spout emerges.
The handle at back represents a sinuous snake with the head downwards,
like that of Fig. 46, Plate VIII. Bands of fish-scale pattern surround
the vessel.


Figs. 153 and 154.--Carved ivory head of leopard, the spots of lead,
inlaid. This resembles in form the bronze ones, Figs. 58-63, Plate X.
It is apparently very old.

Figs. 155 to 157.--Ivory carved sistrum, with a large and a small bell,
similar to the brass one, Figs. 76-78, Plate XII. On the side of the
large bell is a chief standing with his hands upheld by attendants in
the usual manner; a snake-headed sash hangs from waist. On the top two
carved figures, one of which has been broken off. At the back of the
small bell is a band of straight line diaper pattern, and on the top
a crocodile's head holding a closed human hand. It is much broken.
This object is of interest as showing it to be a survival derived from
a metal sistrum. Mr. H. Ling Roth has described this object at some
length in "The Studio," December, 1898.

Fig. 158.--Necklace of bronze, ornamented with human heads in
relief, and birds with long beaks, perhaps meant for vultures, but
too long-necked for that bird, picking at the figures of extended
skeletons. In the intervals between the other figures are oval holes
with raised edges, probably a degenerate representation of the coiled
mud-fish so frequently shown in other Benin antiquities. The fastening
end of the necklace is broken, disclosing the fact that the core of the
object is of some lighter material encased in copper or bronze. It has
a hinge on one side, probably to facilitate the opening of it.

Figs. 159 and 160.--Brass handle of iron sword, with fragment of the
iron sword in it. It has two human faces back to back, covered by
one hat, as in Figs. 147 and 148, Plate XXIV, and representations of
European screw-heads used as ornaments, as in Fig. 140, Plate XXIII.

Figs. 161 to 163.--Bronze staff of office, 4 feet 11 inches in length,
weighing 14 lbs.; it has two elongated crotals in the upper end, with
long slits for the emission of the sound, enclosing loose rods of iron.
Between the slits are vertical bands of guilloche pattern with raised
edges, similar to those represented on the stem and top of the mancala
board, Fig. 116, Plate XX, and a horizontal band of guilloche pattern
with pellets in relief. On the top is an upright human hand, holding
a curled mud-fish. The middle of the staff is ornamented by curious
nondescript figures alternating with balls, and the lower end has an
oblong butt ornamented on the four sides with guilloche pattern, like
that of the crotals on the upper end. The staff has been broken in the
middle and mended by recasting in a clumsy way, the metal of the part
introduced being thicker than the staff itself.


Figs. 164 and 165.--Carved ivory figure of a woman (?) standing, the
arms deficient; They were fitted into square sockets on each side, and
were fastened by large bronze nails, one of which remains. A row of
five leopards' heads hanging from the waist-belt, edged with rows of
pellets, or perhaps eyelets, but much defaced. The lips are very thick
and the nose broad. The pupils of the eyes are represented by deep
circular cavities. No tribal marks apparent, the breasts are not large,
but pendant. The whole of the ivory is very much weathered and pitted,
especially the legs and base. The figure was accompanied by another of
the same size exactly like it and without arms, which was not purchased.

Fig. 166.--Coral whip or whisk, probably a badge of office. Four tags,
two of which are ornamented with crocodiles embroidered with metal.

Figs. 167 and 168.--Ivory carved tusk, 3 feet 6 inches long from bottom
to point. Band at bottom with reticulated or square-shaped ornament,
probably derived from interlacing bands. Commencing from the bottom,
the ornamentation consists of:--A coiled serpent, tail in mouth.
Leopard's head and human head. Human figures standing, one having a
cross on breast, and a key or axe-shaped object in left hand similar
to the bronze figure, Figs. 90 and 91, Plate XV; staff in right hand.
Figure holding sash round waist. Elephant's head with tusks, proboscis
terminating in a human hand. Human figure with spear in left hand,
shield in right hand. Bird standing on pedestal. Human figure upholding
broad leaf-shaped sword in right hand; bell on neck; pedestal on top of
head; feather in cap. Human figure.

Fig. 169.--Ivory ring, carved, with 3 birds.

Fig. 170.--Ivory bracelet, rudely carved, with representations of
leopards' and elephants' heads and perhaps the vestiges of the mud-fish.

Fig. 171.--Carved ivory bracelet, representing a snake, the eyes inlaid.

Figs. 172 and 173.--Ivory bell, or rattle. With clapper of ivory,
consisting of an elephant's tusk point, with human head carved; tribal
marks over eyes.

Figs. 174 and 175.--Dagger, the handle ornamented with lines of dots
and circles. The blade has an ogee section, similar to that which
prevails in the Gaboon and nearly all parts of Africa.

Figs. 176 and 177.--Wooden head-dress. The horizontal bar appears
to represent a shark with mouth and tail, ornamented with carved
representations of animals and masks. Said to be from Benin, West
Africa. The masks are quite characteristic of Benin art. The eyes of
the large mask are formed of the metal bases of cartridges, which
proves it to be quite modern. It is similar in character to Fig. 183,
Plate XXVII. It is perhaps Jekri, see a paper by Messrs. Granville and
Ling Roth in the "Journ. Anthrop. Inst.," Vol. I, New Series, Plate
VIII, Fig. 3.


Fig. 178.--Ivory trumpet, made of the point of an elephant's tusk.
Mouth-hole on the convex side. The butt end is ornamented with two
snakes in two bands, tails in mouths.

Fig. 179.--Bronze plaque, with five figures; the central figure with
coral choker, badge of rank, coral or agate head-dress with feather,
and sash. Broad leaf-shaped sword upheld in right hand; spear, point
down, in left. Two boys, one with ivory trumpet, the other holding a
brass box nearly similar to Figs. 122 and 123, Plate XXI. These objects
have been described by Messrs. Read and Dalton as drums in their paper
in the "Journ. Anthrop. Inst.," Vol. XXVII, Plate XVIII, Fig. 4. Viewed
as a drum, the projecting flanges at top and bottom are not explained.
Leopard's head on girdle. Attendants carrying shields; quadrangular
bells on necks. The left attendant is holding the same spear as the
central figure, point down, as in Fig. 17, Plate IV. Head-dresses of
attendants with ornaments of cowrie shells. Ground ornamented with
leaf-shaped foil ornaments incised.

Fig. 180.--Bronze plaque, representing the figure of a warrior, with
unusually formed helmet, apparently of metal. Quadrangular bell on neck
and teeth necklace. Shield on right arm, and spear with square cap at
butt end, point downwards, in left hand. The ground is ornamented with
two half-moons and the usual leaf-shaped foil ornaments incised.

Fig. 181.--Bronze plaque, representing three figures, the central one
beating a drum with his fingers, and no drum-sticks. The drum has pegs
with knobs to fasten down the skin, like Fig. 248, Plate XXXII, and
similar to the Jekri drum figured in the "Journ. Anthrop. Inst.," Vol.
I, New Series, Plate VIII, Fig. 5. Quadrangular bell on chest. Both the
side figures hold sistri with two bells, like Figs. 76 to 78, Plate
XII, upheld in their left hands, which they are beating with sticks in
their right hands. This plaque gives a fair idea of the kind of music
used in Benin.

Fig. 182.--Brass oblong box, lid deficient. Lock of European form and
ornamentation. Faces and sides of box ornamented with raised rosettes
and incised floral designs resembling that on Figs. 76 to 78, Plate
XII, Fig. 225, Plate XXX, Fig. 282, Plate XXXVII, and Fig. 306, Plate
XL. It has four legs, and is European in appearance.

Fig. 183.--Wooden head-dress, with carved representations of animals
on top. Said to be from Benin, West Africa. It was brought over from
West Africa with things from Benin. It is similar in character to Figs.
176 and 177, Plate XXVI. It is perhaps Jekri, see a paper by Messrs.
Granville and Ling Roth in the "Journ. Anthrop. Inst." Vol. I, New
Series, Plate VIII, Fig. 3.


Figs. 184 and 185.--Large mancala board of bronze. It has 352
holes; another in this collection, Fig. 116, Plate XX, has only ten
circular holes. The sides are ornamented with rectangular forms
linked together. This game is distributed all over Africa, especially
where Arab influence is seen. It is also found in Palestine, Syria,
Arabia, Maldive Islands, India, Ceylon, Malay Peninsula, Java and the
Philippine Islands.

Figs. 186 and 187.--Curved iron knife, with handle carved as a human
figure. The edge is on the convex side.

Figs. 188 and 189.--Dagger in leather sheath. Blade with a
quadrilateral section. Brass handle with forked pommel.

Figs. 190 and 191.--A dagger or prod of ivory. Negro head on the upper
part, below which is a human female figure reversed and crouched; the
hands holding the breasts; the legs crouched up. Stained yellow; blunt

Figs. 192 and 193.--Point of elephant's tusk, carved with a
representation of a human figure kneeling. At point, a skeleton of a
crocodile, and a human head at base, the mouth of which is peculiar. It
appears to be a whistle or musical instrument.

Figs. 194 and 195.--Knife with ivory handle. The brass sheath
ornamented with human figures, a floral ornament, and a man on a horse.

Figs. 196 and 197.--Pointed rod of bronze, ornamented with two heads.
Head-dress of upper head ornamented with bands of straight line diaper
pattern. Crocodile head holding lower part of the rod in mouth.

Figs. 198 and 199.--Broad knife-shaped sword of iron; the wooden handle
bound with brass and iron bands alternating. On one side the blade is
engraved with a human figure and an execution sword traced in lines
of dots and incised lines, as is frequently the case in Australian
representations of figures on wood. The other side of the blade has
an ornamentation in leaves on a sinuous stem, and a square pattern of
interlaced bands.

Fig. 200.--Brass bracelet, having amongst other ornaments a band of
straight line diaper pattern.

Fig. 201.--Bronze link or buckle, or portion of one, with incised
floral guilloche ornament, similar to that on the brass wand, Fig. 211,
Plate XXIX, and the armlets, Fig. 140, Plate XXIII, and Fig. 238, Plate


Figs. 202 and 203.--Brass dancing sword or wand, said to be used by
virgins in their dances. The handle is ornamented with two figures,
which appear to be holding some objects. The blade is engraved with
guilloche pattern on both sides.

Figs. 204 to 209.--Three brass dancing swords or wands, said to be used
by virgins in their dances. Each handle is ornamented by four rudely
cast figures back to back, carrying objects in their hands, two of
which can be identified as birds, and two or three have leaf-shaped
swords with ring on pommel. One has bands of straight line diaper
pattern. The blades are ornamented with guilloche patterns and floral
ornaments incised.

Figs. 210 and 211.--Brass dancing sword or wand, said to be used by
virgins in their dances. The handle is ornamented with four figures,
which are in pairs back to back. They appear to be holding swords
and other objects. The blade is ornamented on one side with bands
of strap-work, and on the other with a sinuous line of branching
leaves (floral guilloche). Straight line diaper pattern and lines of
half-circles are on the square stem of the handle.

Figs. 212 and 213.--Iron wedge-shaped sword, single-edged, enlarging
to a broad end. Ivory handle; the grip carved in pointed leaves and
studded with lead; pommel in form of a leopard's head; the eyes inlaid
with lead; a band carved as two scaly snakes at bottom. The scabbard
worked in green plush and red cloth, with human figures and tortoises
alternating. This is probably the kind of work represented in metal
on some of the dresses on the plaques. The sword belts terminate in
tassels of worsted or some other limp material.

Fig. 214.--Iron spear-head, modern, with ogee section, similar to those
of Benin. Iron and brass bound shaft.

Figs. 215 and 216.--Iron spear, length 4 feet 11 inches, the head
having an ogee section, similar to those used at the present time on
the Gaboon and elsewhere in West Africa. Below the spear-head the shaft
is ornamented with bronze figures of leopards in two places and two
degenerate elephants' heads and eyes, the proboscis terminating in a
human hand holding a leaf, as so frequently shown elsewhere. The butt
end is cased and bound with brass. The shaft is of iron, with a brass
band on the upper parts.


Figs. 217 and 218.--Carved cocoa-nut, with carving representing a
European in boat with spear in right hand and apparently a paddle in
the left hand. Figure armed with hoe, and another cutting a palm-tree,
with a kind of chisel in the right hand and a bill-hook in the left.
One of the figures has distinct buttons on the coat.

Figs. 219 to 221.--Carved cocoa-nut, representing a native on a horse
to left, holding up chain-bridle in left hand; spear in right hand,
point down. Horse very ill-formed and indistinct. Another carving
represents a figure, apparently in boat, holding spears point down.
One of the figures is beating a pressure drum, which Mr. Ling Roth
describes as being similar to those of the modern Yorubas. The
drum-sticks used by two of the figures have curved heads and flat ends.
A band of chevrons within chevrons are on the trousers of two figures.
The marks on the faces consist of three lines radiating from the
corners of the mouth, as in Figs. 90 and 91, Plate XV, and crosses on
the cheeks. Tribal marks on faces. A native execution sword, similar to
Fig. 110, Plate XVIII, and a flint-lock gun are represented separately
between the other figures. The cocoa-nut is hung by a chain of European
manufacture. The stopper represents a human face on two supports. Mr.
H. Ling Roth, in whose possession this object formerly was, gives a
more detailed account of it in "The Studio," December, 1898.

Fig. 222.--Small brass crotals with semicircular ornaments.

Figs. 223 and 224.--Brass bracelet, ornamented with brass
representations of rows of cowrie shells, in groups of nine.

Figs. 225 and 226.--Brass object of unknown use, ornamented on the
outside with three half-moons and a floral pattern in incised lines,
similar to that on the brass sistrum, Figs. 76 to 78, Plate XII; the
brass box, Fig. 182, Plate XXVII, and the large quadrangular bell,
Figs. 281 and 282, Plate XXXVII. The half-moons are inlaid or plated in
copper on the brass. The edges of the object are ornamented with a band
of plain guilloche pattern incised. It is possible that this might be
a degenerate representation of a double-coiled mud-fish, as shown on
the bronze ægis, Fig. 276, Plate XXXVI, and on the bronze necklet, Fig.
158, Plate XXV.

Fig. 227.--Necklet of agate and coral beads. Said to have belonged to
the King of Benin.

Fig. 228.--Armlet of coral beads.

Fig. 229.--Necklace of agate cylindrical beads.


Fig. 230.--Eight shells of bronze gilt, forming part of a necklace.

Fig. 231.--Ten gold shells, which formed part of the King of Benin's
necklace. The shells appear to be "cerithidæ." They are cast hollow.
The weight of the ten is 8-3/4 ounces.

Figs. 232 to 234.--Bronze statuette, representing a figure standing;
with broad leaf-shaped sword, similar to Figs. 326, 327, 328 and 329,
having a twisted ring pommel in right hand, and a sistrum in left hand.
Coral choker, badge of rank. Three tribal marks over each eye. Agate
head-dress, similar to Fig. 121, Plate XXI, and curved agate pendants
on each side. A large twisted ring rises out of the head-dress, which
looks as if intended to enclose some thick band of cloth or other
substance to suspend it. The crown of the head-dress terminates in a
thick cylindrical spike with a flat top, like Fig. 111, Plate XIX,
Fig. 155, Plate XXV, and Figs. 167 and 168, Plate XXVI. The sistrum is
ornamented with a full-length human figure, holding a staff in right
hand and the so-called key or axe in left hand. Beneath the bowl of
the sistrum are three projecting cruciform bars, and the upper edge
of the bowl is ornamented on each side with two heads very rudely
cast. Dr. Felix Roth, in the "Halifax Naturalist," June, 1898, p. 33,
speaks of these projecting prongs as being used for killing victims
for sacrificial purposes, but the fact of their being sistri is shown
in connection with Fig. 181, Plate XXVII. Sinuous serpents cover the
shaft and bowl of the sistrum. The leaf-shaped sword is ornamented,
front and back, with small imitations of itself. The figure has bands,
probably of coral, crossing on the breast. The skirt is ornamented
with conventionalized human heads with long hair and rows of guilloche
pattern. Ankles have coral anklets. The skirt is bound up in the usual
manner in a band behind the left shoulder. There is a band of small
bells round the hips, and a human head and a bunch of bells on the left
side. This figure was obtained from the Liverpool Museum, in the report
of which it is elaborately described and figured with three others like
it. "Bulletin of the Liverpool Museums," Vol. I, No. 2, p. 59. There is
a figure like this in the British Museum. It is of considerable weight,
being cast solid.

Figs. 235 and 236.--Bronze figure of a native, holding what appears
to be a flint-lock gun, but the hammer of the lock is broken off.
The stock is ornamented with a debased human head. The figure has a
leopard's skin on front and back, tail and hind legs of which are
shown behind; the tail terminates in a square bell. Sword in sheath on
right side and a dagger under the arm on left side, with small bags on
both sides. There is a row of eighteen cartridges in the waist-belt
in front. The cartridges appear to be stuck upright into sockets in
the belt. A curved horn powder-flask is on the belt on the left side.
Pleated kilt below waist-belt. On the ground, touching the feet, is
a decapitated head and nine large pellets, perhaps cannon balls. The
pedestal ornamented with interlaced strap-work, alternating with oval
figures, in character resembling the ornament on the stock of the gun.
It stands on a framework of curved bars, now broken. The breeches are
ornamented with vertical rows of circles. Although this figure holds a
flint-lock gun, it is undoubtedly a native, as three tribal marks are
shown above each eye. The face is also prognathic. The head-dress seems
to be of a woven material.


Figs. 237 and 238.--Armlet of ivory, ornamented with representations
of human heads, birds and animals, carved on the surface, and also of
degenerate elephants' heads, the proboscis, in each case, terminating
in a human hand holding a palm branch; horses' heads; tortoises;
leopards, &c.; all of the most conventionalized forms. Bands of crotals
are carved at each end of the armlet. The armlet consists of two halves
connected by a thin brass plate and copper rivets on one side and on
the other by copper fastenings. The plate is ornamented by a floral
guilloche pattern, similar to that on the central band of Fig. 140, on
the wands, Figs. 209 and 211, and elsewhere. This pattern is figured
by Messrs. Read and Dalton in the "Journ. Anthrop. Inst.," Vol. XXVII,
Plate XXII. The carved figures represented on this ivory armlet are of
much greater rudeness than those on the bronze objects generally. Much
weathered and probably very old.

Fig. 239.--Quadrangular brass bell, with a degenerate face on one side;
the eyes of the face are converted into loops.

Fig. 240.--Quadrangular brass bell. The loops on one side are evidently
derived from the degenerate face on Fig. 239.

Fig. 241.--Brass bracelet, consisting of human heads linked together.
One of the heads has projections ornamented with concentric circles.

Fig. 242.--Necklet of cylindrical coral beads, four of which are
ornamented with straight line diaper pattern. One of the beads is
ornamented with a guilloche pattern, with pellets inlaid with lead.

Fig. 243.--Brass bracelet, of peculiar form, ornamented with small
circular punch-marks.

Fig. 244.--Brass bracelet, with clusters of rows of circular knobs or

Fig. 245.--Brass bracelet, with six quadrangular knobs having red agate
inlaid; similar to Fig. 38, Plate VII.

Fig. 246.--Ægis of bronze, representing a horse's head; edged with
eyelets probably for suspending crotals, similar to Fig. 112, Plate
XIX, and Figs. 126 and 127, Plate XXI. Engraved on one side of the back
is a broad leaf-shaped sword with ring pommel, similar to that on the
Ægis, Fig. 276, Plate XXXVI. These engravings are peculiar, and seem to
denote a badge or mark, perhaps of ownership of some kind.

[Illustration: BACK VIEW.]

Fig. 247.--Bronze plaque, representing figure standing; weapon or
implement resembling a ranseur of the sixteenth or seventeenth century
in right hand, point upwards. Hair combed straight out. Pot helmet.
Bodice fastened with three buttons and tags, perhaps armour. Left hand
on left side. Band with clasp round waist. Pleated kilt like Fig. 129,
Plate XXII; Figs. 235 and 236, Plate XXXI; Figs. 324 and 325, Plate
XLII, and Figs. 360 and 361, Plate XLVI. This figure has very thick
lips, but might not be negro. Ground ornamented with leaves in twos and
threes, incised, and dotted punch-marks. The figure somewhat resembles
in character the mounted figure, Fig. 129, Plate XXII.

Fig. 248.--Bronze plaque, representing a figure playing a drum with
sticks; quadrangular bell on neck, ornamented with a sinuous snake,
head downwards. Head-dress with two feathers. Hair combed straight and
coiled in plaits. A peculiar kind of straight line diaper pattern on
drum. This drum has pegs with nobs to fasten down the skin, similar to
that represented on the plaque, Fig. 181, Plate XXVII, and to the Jekri
drum figured in "Journ. Anthrop. Inst.," Vol. I, New Series, Plate
VIII, Fig. 5. Ground ornamented with incised leaf-shaped foil ornaments
and punch-marks.


Figs. 249 and 250.--Large bronze cover, use unknown; the ribs
ornamented in the usual incised style of Benin work.

Figs. 251 and 252.--Top of a bronze mace, with slits resembling a
crotal and a figure with an object, probably a neolithic celt, in the
right hand. The figure appears to be bent forward.

Fig. 253.--Bronze round bell, similar to those attached to the dresses
on the plaques, Fig. 254, Plate XXXIII, and Fig. 264, Plate XXXIV.

Fig. 254.--Bronze plaque, representing a warrior, execution sword
upheld in right hand; broad leaf-shaped sword in left, with a twisted
ring or pommel. Quadrangular bell on neck, ornamented with a sinuous
snake. Round bell on side; peculiar head-dress; armlets; object like a
book under left arm; teeth necklace.

Fig. 255.--Bronze plaque, representing two figures, the right one
having a broad leaf-shaped sword upheld in right hand, with a large
ring extending from pommel; teeth necklace, but no coral choker; no
bell on neck; cylindro-oval head-dress with feather on left side. Both
figures hold the same spear, point downwards. Left figure with shield
on left arm, quadrangular bell, and leopard's skin dress. Head-dress of
the same form as the other, ornamented with cowrie shells. Skirts of
both figures ornamented with human heads.

Fig. 256.--Carved wooden Jekri paddle, neighbourhood of Benin. Modern.
Chain link shaft. Face on handle end. Pierced work blade.

Fig. 257.--Carved wooden Jekri paddle, neighbourhood of Benin. Modern.
Chain link shaft. Full length human figure on handle end. Pierced work
blade, with human figures, crocodiles, etc.


Figs. 258 to 260.--Round execution block, with marks on the top for
the thumbs and forehead of the victim; elaborately ornamented all
over. On the projection on which the forehead is intended to rest is a
double row of cowrie shells, bound round. A band of guilloche pattern,
incised, runs round the circle, and the projections for the thumbs of
the victim are ornamented with herring-bone pattern. On the sides of
the block are three human figures in relief holding hands; shields,
a leaf-shaped sword, and a trident points down. The shields are
ornamented with straight line diaper pattern, and a band of the same
runs round the top of the edge of the block. Two human arms and hands
are on the side, and two boxes or stools are between the human figures.
The bottom of the sides is ornamented with a band of guilloche pattern
in relief. The figures are clothed with jackets and skirts. The whole
is much worn, as if by constant use.

Fig. 261.--Ivory horn, mouth-piece on convex side. Ornamented with
bands of broken guilloche pattern.

Figs. 262 and 263.--Bronze plaque. A figure holding a so-called key in
right hand. Coral choker, badge of rank. Head-dress, probably of agate
or coral. No cross on dress.

Fig. 264.--Bronze plaque, representing a figure standing holding in
both hands a leaf-shaped sword of the kind shown in No. 130. The sword
is narrower, and the swell of the blade nearer the point than in the
majority of specimens. A round bell is attached to the left side. The
hair appears to be dishevelled and partly plaited. Three tribal marks
over eyes.


Figs. 265 and 266.--Bronze grotesque mask, intended probably as a stand
for the carved ivory tusks in the Ju-Ju houses. The eyeballs project
like those of the head, No. 137. Three tribal marks over each eye, and
four over the nose. The forehead is very projecting; the nose aquiline
and very broad. Tags, apparently of coral, are on the sides. The ears
are very large.

Fig. 267.--Brass bottle and chain, rudely cast.

Figs. 268 to 270.--Long oval wooden bowl carved out of the solid. On
one side (Fig. 269) is a row of five human figures in relief; the
central figure has his hands upheld by attendants, who hold in their
other hands shields having barbed javelins, points upward behind them.
The shields are ornamented with straight line diaper pattern. Another
figure holds an object under the arm, perhaps a drum or a food vessel.
At both ends there is a representation of a degenerate elephant's
head, the proboscis terminating in a human hand holding a branch,
similar to Figs. 72, 167, and 316. At one end is a rude representation
of a degenerate mud-fish. The other side of the bowl (Fig. 268) is
ornamented with a broad guilloche pattern and a square interlaced
figure. The interior of the bowl is very rudely chiselled out, showing
marks of the tool all over. The carving is very rough and much in the
style of the execution block, Figs. 259 and 260, Plate XXXIV.

Fig. 271.--Small bronze bird, with something in the mouth; very


Figs. 272 to 274.--Wooden comb, the handle carved as links of a chain,
with a figure at top.

Fig. 275.--Small iron knife or bill-hook; the edge on the convex side;
with brass handle terminating in a pommel representing a human hand.

Fig. 276.--Bronze ægis. Two interlaced mud-fish. This perhaps shows the
origin of the oval hole sometimes found on some of the objects, see
Fig. 141, Plate XXIII, and Fig. 158, Plate XXV. This ægis has a broad
leaf-shaped sword incised on the back of it, as shown in the annexed
woodcut. These engravings are peculiar, and seem to denote a badge
or mark, perhaps of ownership of some kind. The ægis is edged with
eyelets, probably for suspending crotals, similar to Fig. 112, Plate
XIX, and Figs. 126 and 127, Plate XXI.

[Illustration: BACK VIEW.]

Figs. 277 and 278.--Head carved in hard wood. The coral choker, the
band round the head-dress, the feather on left side and the base are
entirely covered with thin brass or bronze. Apparently intended to
represent a cast metal head. Whether this is the case, or whether it is
earlier than the introduction of metal casting, it is difficult to say.
The face only and the top of the head-dress are left uncovered with
metal. The top of the head-dress represents a reticulated head-dress
of agate, like No. 121. The pupils of the eyes and the three tribal
marks over each eye are of darker wood let in. There is a bronze band
of metal along the forehead and nose. A ring of bronze-headed nails
surrounds each eye. There is a broad hanging band on each side of the
face, covered with thin metal and surmounted by a conical ornament.
The metal is fastened on to the wood with oblong rivets. The face is
extremely rudely carved. Round the base is a band of peculiar ornament
in repoussé work, which is either intended for a floral ornament or
a broken guilloche pattern, like that on the blades of the wands and
elsewhere. There is a vertical hole through the back of the head, which
is not large enough to contain a tusk.

Figs. 279 and 280.--Bronze rod, pointed below; perhaps the head of a
staff intended to fit on to a wooden stem. Ornamented with a human
figure sitting at top, with a human-headed staff in right hand, and a
neolithic celt, edge up, in left hand. Coral choker and head-dress with
serpents hanging head downwards, and a band of straight line diaper
pattern. Three tribal marks over each eye. Band of guilloche pattern on
skirt-rings for pendants (? crotals). Below, in a separate division,
is a nude human figure kneeling and holding something in front in both
hands. At sides sinuous serpents with the heads down, and crocodiles or
lizards. Below again a sinuous serpent, head upwards. The whole very
rudely cast.


Figs. 281 and 282.--Bronze square bell, the ornamentation tastefully
designed, with a human head, crocodiles, and floral ornaments. The
clapper is in the form of a sinuous snake, head downwards.

Fig. 283.--Ivory armlet, very rudely carved in human figures,
crocodiles, serpents, &c.

Figs. 284 and 285.--Brass or bronze sword, the pommel in the form of a
twisted ring, as so frequently shown on the plaques, see Figs. 4, 113,
179, 255, etc. The blade is of unusual form, very broad, and rounded at
the end.

Figs. 286 to 288.--Bronze plaque, representing a figure standing and
holding in his left hand a staff with an eagle on the top. A staff with
a bird on the top is represented in one of the figures of No. 139.


Fig. 289.--Bronze plaque, representing a human head with straight
combed hair. Aquiline nose, moustache and beard; not of negro type. The
ground ornamented with the usual leaf ornament.

Fig. 290.--Bronze plaque, with pendant fruit ribbed. Raised rosettes
and the usual leaf ornament on field incised.

Fig. 291.--Bronze or brass plaque. Figure, full length; an unknown
implement upheld in right hand, and an execution sword held
horizontally in left hand. Three tribal marks over each eye. The dress
ornamented with human heads, half-moons, and floral ornaments incised.
Ground ornamented with the usual leaf-shaped ornament.

Fig. 292.--Bronze ægis. A female with pointed head-dress, and coral
choker, badge of rank; striking a sistrum with a rod. It is repaired
with lead.

Figs. 293 and 294.--Bronze statuette, representing a negro figure
holding a so-called key in the left hand. The figure has three tribal
marks over each eye, and three radiating lines branching from the
corners of the mouth. The pupils of the eyes are inlaid with iron. A
cross on the breast hanging from the neck by a cord. No coral choker,
but a necklace perhaps of coral or agate. A pot hat with a narrow
straight brim. This figure exactly resembles No. 90. The ears are very
rudely formed. No hair is shown. The face is very prognathous and the
nose broad and flat, not aquiline. The skirt is only slightly hooked


Fig. 295.--Bronze plaque, head of horse, very much elongated. For the
elongation of a horse's head, see the figure of horse and rider in
Figs. 299 and 300.

Figs. 296 and 297.--Bronze plaque, representing a cow's head, of
natural form and proportions, with a rope bound round the horns.

Fig. 298.--Bronze plaque. A sinuous serpent, head downwards. Ground
ornamented with the usual foil ornament incised.

Figs. 299 and 300.--Bronze man on horseback, holding a shield, with
barbed javelins, points downwards, on right arm. A band of crotals hung
over right shoulder. Sword on right side with European scabbard. The
dress is peculiar and formed with lappets on front and back. The horse
and rider are very attenuated and rudely executed. The horse tucked up
like a greyhound, with head very long, like Fig. 295. Band with crotals
round the horse's neck. Large flaws in the casting of both horse and


Fig. 301.--Bronze cock, the feathers represented by herring-bone

Figs. 302 and 303.--Elephant's tusk formed as a trumpet. The mouthpiece
on the convex side; with rattle. The loose pieces of the rattle carved
out of the solid, through the oblong apertures. Ornamented with
three bands of guilloche pattern; straight line diaper pattern, and
degenerate mud-fish interlaced, in two places.

Figs. 304 and 305.--Portion of an iron staff, ornamented with bands of
bronze, on which are figured human faces, leopards' heads and bands of
looped strands, similar to those on Figs. 139 and 140, Plate XXIII.

Fig. 306.--Thin brass head ornament for horse, and a broad band to
go along the top of the head and mane. The figure on the lower part
represents a crocodile, head downwards, ornamented with rows of copper
rivets. The band for the head is ornamented with a floral ornament
(floral guilloche) consisting of a sinuous stem with a leaf branching
out of each curve, similar to that shown on Figs. 209, 238 and 278.
The whole of the ornamentation is in repoussé work, and is probably
intended to be attached to leather.

Figs. 307 and 308.--Lower portion of an iron staff, surrounded by bands
of brass, ornamented with leopards' heads, frogs, looped strands and
guilloche pattern.

Fig. 309.--Square brass lamp, with four receptacles for wicks, one at
each corner. Ornamented with dots of repoussé work, and suspended by an
iron chain with long links and a hook.

Figs. 310 to 313.--Bronze lamp, apparently with gold in its
composition. The basin patched and riveted with copper. The bands for
suspension ornamented with straight line diaper pattern (Fig. 312) and
broken guilloche pattern (Fig. 313), united at top in a human figure
(Fig. 311), having the private parts strongly pronounced. There are
only one or two objects in this collection in which this peculiarity
occurs, which is so prevalent in the art of most savages.


Figs. 314 to 316.--Wooden stool, the top slightly basin-shaped; the
stem carved to represent two interlaced serpents, but the interlacing
is not continuous, being broken by a square hole pierced through the
centre of the shaft. The heads of the serpents are conventional and
they bend towards the top and bottom on alternate sides. The tails of
the serpents terminate in the mouths of two frogs carved on the base
and underside of the top of the seat. A human figure is in the mouth
of the serpent resting on the base, holding a bill-hook in his left
hand, similar to Figs. 108 and 109, Plate XVIII. On the underside of
the seat, the serpent holds a leopard in its mouth; leopard holding
a palm branch in its mouth. The other figures carved on the base and
underside of the top are two degenerate mud-fish and two degenerate
elephants' heads, the proboscis terminating in a human hand, like Figs.
72 and 167. The seat is ornamented with an interlaced guilloche pattern
surrounding the top edge of the seat.

Fig. 317.--Wooden plaque, ornamented in the centre by a coil of
interlaced strap-work, bounded by two lines of zigzag pattern. On one
side a broad leaf-shaped sword with a ring pommel, similar to Figs. 326
and 327, Plate XLII, and Figs. 328 and 329, Plate XLIII. The handle is
ornamented with a straight line diaper pattern. On the other side is
represented an execution sword, similar to Fig. 110, Plate XVIII.

Figs. 318 and 319.--Wooden seat, of oblong form, supported by four
legs, with cross-braces. All the ornamental portions are plated with
thin brass, beaten on and riveted. The top of the seat is ornamented in
the centre and ends by bands of single and double guilloche pattern,
and in the centre of the squares by a square pattern of interlaced
strands riveted on, similar to that represented on the blade of the
sword, Fig. 199, Plate XXVIII. The legs and sides of the seat are
ornamented by wheel-shaped forms, in eight places, and half-moons,
similar to those on the ground-work of the plaque, Fig. 180, Plate
XXVII. The stool in various parts is ornamented by brass-headed nails,
which might perhaps be European.


Figs. 320 and 321.--Wooden bird resembling a turkey. The inlaying of
the eyes has disappeared; the feathers are conventionally represented
by carved squares and lines of herring-bone pattern. On the top is a
rudely-cut vertical projection 5 inches high and 2-1/2 inches broad,
the meaning of which is unknown; and from it hangs on each side of
the bird, a broad band 3-1/2 inches broad, carved with four rows of
herring-bone pattern, the meaning of which is also unknown. The front
of the base is ornamented with a guilloche pattern of four strands.

Fig. 322.--Circular brass fan, thickness of metal, .02 inch; ornamented
with bands of guilloche pattern, herring-bone, and straight line diaper
patterns. The handle is riveted to the fan.

Fig. 323.--Fan of hide. The sewing of leather resembles that of the
brass fan, Fig. 322, Plate XLII.

Figs. 324 and 325.--Bronze group of three human figures, the front
figure kneeling, the hands in an attitude of prayer. The upper part
naked, the lower part covered by a pleated kilt or skirt, similar to
Figs. 129, 235, 236, and 247. The corners of the eyes ornamented with
a raised barbed figure. A belt of two ropes round the waist with two
loops behind, in one of which hang two links of a chain. This figure
is attended behind by two short figures standing and armed with swords
in sheaths. Coral necklaces and anklets. Three tribal marks incised
over each eye. On the ground are three decapitated human heads, face
upwards, and a dog. The base is ornamented with coiled figures.

Figs. 326 and 327.--Broad leaf-shaped iron sword, similar to Figs. 328
and 329, Plate XLIII. The handle enclosed in a large ring of metal,
7 inches in diameter. The blade, which is .08 inch in thickness, is
perforated by a pattern of holes.


Figs. 328 and 329.--Broad leaf-shaped iron sword, similar to Figs. 326
and 327, Plate XLII. The handle enclosed in a large ring of metal, 8
inches by 5-1/2 inches interior measurement, twisted in two places.
It has probably had a grip of wood, which has disappeared. The blade,
which is only ·06 inch in thickness, is ornamented with a pattern of
perforated holes. The use of this instrument is unknown; it may have
been an execution sword, but, if so, the ring-guard appears superfluous.

Fig. 330.--Iron staff, similar to the bronze one, Figs. 354 and
355, Plate XLV. In the cluster at the top is the figure of a bird
surmounting an animal, probably a chameleon, similar to the one
half-way down the stem, and surrounded by a cluster of various
implements and weapons, points upwards, amongst which may be
distinguished a fork with diamond-shaped heads, a curved bill-hook, a
chisel, a spud and a reaping-hook. Below this are two clusters each of
six hanging bells; two sinuous snakes, heads upwards, are crawling up
the stem.

Figs. 331 and 332.--Carved wooden board, 10-1/2 feet in length and 1
foot 11 inches broad; from a house in Benin city. It is ornamented
with five panels in relief. Each panel has a circle with radiating
lines, bounded by lines of guilloche pattern. The several panels are
separated by broad bands of interlaced strap-work, deeply carved. The
interlaced strap-work varies in design, some being simply plaited,
and in others it is further complicated with twists and returns. Some
have two interlaced bands, others four. The carving is irregular and
traced by the eye without measure or T-square. Long sinuous snakes with
heads are represented in the smaller lines dividing the panels and give
the effect of a meander. The whole of the carving has originally been
covered with thin plates of brass or bronze beaten on, traces of which
are seen here and there fastened on with oblong rivets of metal.

Figs. 333 to 335.--Round execution block and stand of wood, elaborately
carved with figures of men and animals. On the top is a pointed spike
of wood, 5 inches in height, on which the head of the victim appears
to have rested, and below this on the surface at the top of the block
are two receptacles for the thumbs of the victim, in the form of
coiled mud-fish. The ornamentation on the top consists of squares and
triangles filled with parallel straight lines alternating in direction,
and edged with a circle of broken guilloche pattern. On the sides are
three human figures, two of which are holding hands upwards, weapons
and shields, and one a curved sword of European form, point downwards.
Between these figures are two boxes or stools; there are also two human
hands and other objects on the other side. The bottom of the block is
surrounded by a broad guilloche pattern of four or five strands. The
stand on which the block stands is of semicircular form. The top is
ornamented with two animals, resembling crocodiles, conforming to the
outline of the curve, and other animals and objects. On the front of
this stand is a row of objects, consisting, in the centre, of a human
figure holding something on the abdomen, human hands, animals' heads,
and other objects. A very similar execution block, but without stand,
is shown in Figs. 258 to 260, Plate XXXIV. The barbarous carving and
ornamentation of such gruesome objects is quite characteristic of Benin


Fig. 336.--Wooden casket in the form of an ox's head, coated with thin
brass riveted on. From the forehead two human hands rise up holding the
horns. Along the forehead and along the sides are three lines of single
guilloche pattern in repoussé work. The pupils of the eyes are inlaid
with a dark substance. It appears to be a box or casket of some kind.
A similar box is shown in the hands of the small figure in plaque No.
18, Plate IV. A precisely similar object from Benin is figured by Mr.
Ling Roth in "The Studio," December, 1898, Fig. 18; and there is also
another similar in the British Museum, figured in "Antiquities from
Benin in the British Museum," Plate XI, Fig. 9.

Fig. 337.--Half of a bronze circlet or necklet, similar to Fig. 158,
Plate XXV; ornamented with two human forms with attenuated bodies
and conventional heads, consisting of circles with five circular
punch-marks to represent the features, and two other similar heads
without bodies. The arms of these two figures are bound together at
the wrists. At the feet of these two extended figures are two human
heads of negro type, very well executed, and a leopard's head. It is
ornamented in other places by a broad leaf-shaped sword and spirals.
This remarkable work of savage art is shown in greater detail in the
annexed woodcut.

Fig. 338.--Bronze sword, perhaps an execution sword, but rather too
small for that purpose; with wooden grip and pommel. The blade is
ornamented on both sides with incised semicircles and curved lines. The
cutting edge is on the convex side.

Fig. 339.--Bronze sword, perhaps an execution sword, but rather too
small for that purpose; ornamented with incised semicircles, like
Fig. 338, and chevrons filled with parallel incised lines. The grip
ornamented with parallel incised bands in imitation of binding. The
blade is also ornamented with peculiar incised scrolls and circular
punch-marks, and diamond forms.

Fig. 340.--Bronze pin, ornamented with four conventionalized birds.
Inlaid in various places with red agate, and ornamented with circular

Fig. 341.--Bronze bell or sistrum, with small bell attached; both
ornamented with an incised lozenge-shaped pattern. A similar double
bell, from Yoruba, is figured by Mr. Ling Roth in "The Reliquary,"
1898, p. 165.

Fig. 342.--Bronze figure of boy, with the palms of the hands erect and
open, as if denying having stolen anything. Serpent, head downwards, on
forehead. Three incised tribal marks over each eye. Coral necklace.

Figs. 343 and 344.--Human mask, of bronze. The pupils of the eyes
inlaid with iron.

Fig. 345.--Bronze leopard, tail deficient; total height, 15-1/4 inches.
One of the hind legs broken off and repaired by natives with a piece of
ivory. The leopard is covered with incised spots and small punch-marks
all over. The pupils of the eyes are inlaid with iron.


Fig. 346.--Quadrangular bronze bell, ornamented with mud-fish and a
human head in relief. It is reticulated on all sides and could have
emitted no sound.

Fig. 347.--Quadrangular bronze bell, ornamented on one side by a
degenerate human face in relief. The ornamentation tastefully designed.

Fig. 348.--Bronze cock, somewhat similar to Fig. 301, Plate XL.

Fig. 349.--Brass armlet, made from one piece of thin metal, joined by
copper rivets. Ornamented by three naked human figures in relief, and
bands of interlaced rings.

Figs. 350 and 351.--Bronze trumpet, slightly curved, the mouth-hole on
the convex side, similar in form to the ivory trumpets, Figs. 178, 192
and 193. Projecting blades, like celts, on the large end, as in the
sistrum in Figs. 232 to 234, Plate XXXI. A somewhat similar instrument
is figured by Mr. Ling Roth in the "Halifax Naturalist," June, 1898,
p. 32. Above these blades is a human head in relief, surmounted by a
circular ring held in the mouth of a crocodile, head downwards. Other
parts are ornamented by sinuous snakes in relief. It appears to have
been used both as trumpet and axe.

Figs. 352 and 353.--Bronze staff, probably intended to be held in the
middle. Ornamented at both ends with human figures back to back. The
stem ornamented with loops as in Figs. 208 and 209, Plate XXIX.

Figs. 354 and 355.--Bronze staff, 4 feet 10-1/2 inches in length;
ornamented at top with the figure of a bird with a small ball in
its mouth, and apparently surmounting a leopard. Around it are ten
leaf-shaped flanges ornamented with sinuous serpents, holding birds and
crocodiles in their mouths. Below this is a human figure standing with
very large hands, apparently clasped, and thumbs projecting upwards,
out of all proportion to the size of the body; on the shoulders of this
figure are two sinuous snakes. Below this are figures representing a
monkey and a bull. The central figure is nude and kneeling with a
cock in its hands, resting on a cluster of hanging bells. The lower
part, which is broken and detached from the upper part, represents a
human figure; in his left hand a large neolithic celt, and in his right
hand a human-headed staff, similar in design to Figs. 279 and 280,
Plate XXXVI. Below and in front of this figure are smaller figures,
representing a human figure with a neolithic celt in the right hand
and a spotted leopard, with tail curled over head, on the left. Rising
from the head of the larger figure is an antelope, with two snakes
springing out of its mouth, surrounded by representations of various
weapons, points upwards. The whole appears to be constructed of bronze,
surrounding an iron stem.


Figs. 356 and 357.--Bronze staff, surmounted by a vulture holding
something in its beak, as in Figs. 286 to 288, Plate XXXVII; Fig. 271,
Plate XXXV, and Figs. 354 and 355, Plate XLV. In Fig. 139, Plate XXIII,
and in "Antiquities from Benin in the British Museum," Plate XXIX, Fig.
3, figures are shown holding these staves and striking them with rods.

Figs. 358 and 359.--Bronze seated figure, apparently of an European.
The dress has large buttons on one side. The hat, with brim, is
ornamented with chevrons filled with parallel straight lines; the
moustache very long; the nose aquiline and very large; the shoulders
guarded by "wings." Left hand and forearm broken.

Fig. 360.--Bronze or brass plaque, representing a figure standing to
front, holding a piece of ring-money (Manilla) in right hand, similar
to Plate XXI, Fig. 6, "Antiquities from Benin in the British Museum,"
where their use and form are discussed (p. 27). The dress has a single
row of buttons, somewhat similar to Fig. 247, Plate XXXII, where
however the coat is fastened with tags; the left hand is similarly
spread upon the chest. The face is prognathous, but with hooked nose.
The hat appears to be an European chimney-pot hat. Other cases of a
pleated kilt occur in Figs. 129, 235, 236, 247, 324, 325, and 361.

Fig. 361.--Bronze plaque, representing a figure, seated, holding
apparently a hand-cannon in both hands, the butt of which is curved
down. The dress has buttons on one side, as in the previous figure, and
is surmounted by a vandyke ornamented collar of European type. Belt
and pleated kilt. Face, apparently European, aquiline nose. European
helmet. European sword with guard on right side.

Fig. 362.--Iron axe, in carved wooden handle and shaft; with six wooden
human faces, the pupils of the eyes inlaid with lead.

Figs. 363 and 364.--Iron hammer.

Figs. 365 and 366.--Small human head in earthenware, being the only one
of that material in this collection. The pupils of the eyes are inlaid
with iron; two iron bands on the forehead, of which the traces have
nearly disappeared. Hole in top of head like those of bronze. Coral
choker. The features are well formed.

Figs. 367 and 368.--Antelope's head, in bronze, with horns and ears.


Figs. 369 to 371.--Bronze plaque, representing a sacrificial scene; it
contains eight human figures, and a bullock just in the act of being
slaughtered. All the figures except one have native features, dress,
etc., and wear the insignia of executioners. The remaining figure is
evidently intended to represent a European.

Figs. 372 and 373.--A carved ivory box in the form of a mud or cat
fish. The eyes are inlaid with lead.


Figs. 374 and 375.--Bronze statuette of a musician in the act of
playing a wind instrument. He wears a pot hat, a collar, and loose
necklet hanging down over the chest, also armlets and wristlets. He
wears a decorated loin cloth, with a border representing a row of
feathers, and in the centre of the garment is a conventional leopard's
face. Height of statuette is 24-1/2 inches.

Figs. 376 and 377.--Modern Benin sword; the blade is iron and decorated
with incised birds and a nondescript animal. There are seven brass
rivets hammered into the blade. The handle is covered with leather.
Length of blade, 17-3/4 inches.

Figs. 378 and 379.--Is a copper weapon which has had a wooden shaft.
This weapon is of too soft a metal to be of much use.

Figs. 380 and 381.--An iron weapon of an old make. The blade is
decorated with an incised figure of a snake. Length of blade, 21-1/8


Figs. 382 and 383.--Cubical metal lamp, with handle, chain and hook
for suspension. The hook is ornamented at its lower half with raised
transverse incised lines and lozenge-shaped incisions. It is attached
to a chain of three links, the upper and lower ones being oval; the
middle one is 8-shaped. The other end of the chain is attached to a
loop which projects from the head of a nude human figure (length of
figure is 2-1/2 inches), the feet of which are fixed by a loop of
copper wire to the handle of the bar; the handle has a zigzag guilloche
pattern on the upper side. There is a human face in relief on the sides
of the body of the lamp, with fish-scale pattern on the groundwork. The
borders of the lamp are raised rope pattern, and have a double loop
knot at each corner. The lamp has four legs, and from the centre of the
bottom is a small round piece projecting, and not so long as the legs.
It is capped with a circular bottom, which is decorated with incised
concentric circles. Height from top of hook when suspended is 26 inches.

Fig. 384.--Metal armlet, ornamented with five rows of inlaid copper
conventionalized cat-fishes and human faces; the latter have long hair,
long whiskers, and long noses. Height, 5-7/8 inches.

Fig. 385.--Metal box, cylindrical in form, ornamented with three
longitudinal rows of ox skulls in relief, and incised human faces.
Height, 7 inches.

Fig. 386.--Wooden comb, with carved design.

Fig. 387.--Cast metal bowl. The small opening at the top is situated
in the centre of an incised rosette; this, together with four similar
but smaller rosettes, are coated with a copper wash. On the base is a
rosette within a circle.

Fig. 388.--Cast metal bowl. Distributed over the body of the bowl are
eleven finely executed Maltese crosses.

Fig. 389.--Quadrangular bronze bell, ornamented on three sides with
open reticulated work, framed in by a border of the guilloche pattern.
A conventional face, with long hair and beard, is on one of the
reticulated sides. Near the base of the ornamented side is a small
roughly circular hole. Height, 6 inches.


Figs. 390 and 391.--Large metal bell. On one side is a human face in
relief, with snakes issuing from the nostrils. Each of the two snakes
grasps a mud or cat fish in its jaws. The ears project from the sides
of the head-dress, and the neck has a frill consisting of a double
row of perforated circles. The handle has an incised herring-bone
ornamentation. Projecting from the sides of the bell are eight knobs.
The base and crown of the bell have a border of strap-work pattern.
Height of bell, 10 inches.

Figs. 392 and 393.--Carved wooden head, which may have been a mask.
Represents the head of a negro; it is hollow, and may have been
intended for a mask, as there are open slits underneath each eye. The
hair is represented by incised reticulated lines. The three black lines
over the eyes represent cicatrices. The lower part of the face is
rounded, and the chin not marked. Height, 13 inches.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

There is no figure 136 in the printed book, and the "annexed woodcut"
referred to in the description of fig. 337 was not included. The
figures in "Figs. 265,6, Plate 35" on p. 46 were hand-written.

The following apparent errors have been corrected:

p. 56 "Figs 192 and 193." changed to "Figs 192 and 193."

p. 65 "Fig. 181 Plate XXVII" changed to "Fig. 181, Plate XXVII"

p. 65 "Vol I" changed to "Vol. I"

p. 70 "elephants's" changed to "elephant's"

p. 74 "Fig. 282." changed to "Figs. 281 and 282."

p. 94 "Figs 372 and 373" changed to "Figs. 372 and 373"

p. 98 "Fig 385." changed to "Fig. 385."

The following possible errors have not been changed:

p. iv conquerers

p. 32 tattoed

p. 42 rivetted

The following are used inconsistently in the text:

a European and an European

cat fish and cat-fish

ground-work and groundwork

Juju and Ju-ju

mouthpiece and mouth-piece

mudfish and mud-fish

semicircles and semi-circles

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Antique Works of Art from Benin - Collected by Lieutenant-General Pitt Rivers" ***

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