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Parent Record
No. 2416.213
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Publication: 1919. Luschan, Felix von. Die Altertümer von Benin; mit 889 Abbildungen nach Zeichnungen von B. Ankermann, G. Kilz, L. Sütterlin u.a., sowie nach Photographien usw., hrsg. mit Unterstützung des Reichs-Kolonialministeriums, der Rudolf Virchow- und der Arthur Baessler-Stiftung.

Original language: German

Caption translation:

Fig. 567 a, b. Two views of a mask-shaped pendant, made of ivory, P. R. 25. 1/3 of actual size. Fig. 568/9. Two mask-shaped pendants, made of ivory, from the Ralph Moor Collection, based on Ling Roth, Gr B., 569 now in the British Museum. 1/2 of actual size.



Caption:

Abb. 567 a, b. Zwei Ansichten eines maskenförmigen Anhängers, Elfenbein, P.R. 25. 1/3 d. w. Gr. Abb. 568/9. Zwei maskenförmige Anhänger, Elfenbein, aus der Sammlung von Ralph Moor, nach Ling Roth, Gr B., 569 jetzt im Brit. Museum. 1/2 d. w. Gr.



Text translation:

[27th Chapter: Pendants in the shape of human masks.] “H. For the sake of inner cohesion, several other masks are to be mentioned here which should otherwise not be discussed until Ch. 52 with the other ivory carvings; however, in their shape and doubtless in their purpose as well, they very much coincide with the bronze cast mask-shaped pendants, so that it would be wrong to separate them from these. With their thin and fragile edges they unistakeably point to their origin in metalwork; that they are artfully carved out of ivory only shows the endeavor to create something quite especially precious and unique; I only know of five1) pieces of this type, and regarding the one in Rushmore, P.R. even expressly reports [p. 379] that it was found concealed in an oak chest in King Duboar’s bed chamber. The two Berlin pieces are browned and extremely worn, the three others are apparently also old, but presumably were worn very rarely and were usually locked away otherwise. Regarding one of these pieces, C.H. Read, who otherwise is certainly not inclined towards superlatives and whose judgment in questions of art is hardly surpassed by any contemporary, says that is is the most beautiful of anything to have come out of Benin. The illustrations that I can give of these masks here are imperfect and give only a faint idea of the beauty of the originals. The pupils and the narrow tattooed stripes on the forehead are inlaid with metal, P.R.’s piece is decorated with cords made of real coral. The similarity of the two ivory pendants illustrated in Fig. 568/9 with Capt. Egerton’s two bronze masks (Ill. 556/7), between which there exists a sort of parallelism, which can hardly be coincidental: you could almost conclude that that these two bronze pendants themselves served as the model for the ivory masks; the collars, the style and arrangement of the drilled bosses and the narrow faces completely coincide; only in the crowning of the hairstyle do the two carved masks exceed their cast prototypes; one of them has a wreath of 12 European heads, in the other there are 7 of these alternating with 6 catfish. The eyes and hats of the Europeans are coated with copper. From the outset it is unlikely that these precious and fragile masks served as belt ornamentation, as we know with certainty was the case for the apparently related pendants with animal heads; perhaps they were worn hung around the neck during rare and festive occasions, but there is no plate nor any sculpture in which anybody would be depicted with such an ornament.” (pp. 379-380) [Ill. 556, 557, 568, 569]

F/N 1) ) 1. 2. Berlin, III.      C. 26 372/3. — 3.4. Two pieces from the collection of Sir Ralph Moor, cf Ill. 568/9, the latter piece in the Brit. Museum, cf. C.H. Read in “Man” X. Tab. D. — 5. Rushmore, P. R. 25, cf Ill. 567 ab.



Text:

[27. Kapitel: Anhänger in Form von menschlichen Masken.]

„H. Des inneren Zusammenhangs wegen sind hier auch noch einige andere Masken zu erwähnen, die sonst eigentlich erst im Kap. 52 mit den übrigen Schnitzwerken aus Elfenbein besprochen werden sollten; sie lehnen sich aber in ihrer Form und zweifellos auch ihrer Bestimmung nach durchaus an die aus Bronze gegossenen maskenförmigen Anhänger an, so daß es falsch wäre, sie von ihnen zu trennen. Mit ihren dünnen und gebrechlichen Rändern weisen sie untrüglich, auf ihren Ursprung aus der Metalltechnik; daß man sie kunstvoll aus Elfenbein geschnitzt, zeigt nur das Bestreben, etwas ganz besonders Kostbares und Eigenartiges zu schaffen; ich kenne nur fünf1) Stücke dieser Art, und von dem in Rushmore berichtet [p. 379] P. R. sogar ausdrücklich, daß es in einer eichenen Kiste im Schlafraum des Königs Duboar versteckt gefunden wurde. Die beiden Berliner Stücke sind gebräunt und sehr stark abgenutzt, die drei andern sind augenscheinlich auch alt, aber vermutlich nur ganz ausnahmsweise getragen und sonst meist weggeschlossen gewesen. Von einem dieser Stücke sagt C. H. Read, der doch sonst sicher nicht zu Superlativen neigt und dessen Urteil in Kunstfragen kaum von einem Zeitgenossen übertroffen wird, es sei das Schönste, was überhaupt aus Benin gekommen sei. Die Abbildungen, die ich hier von diesen Masken geben kann, sind unvollkommen und geben nur eine entfernte Vorstellung von der Schönheit der Originale. Die Augensterne und die schmalen, tätowierten Streifen auf der Stirn sind mit Metall eingelegt, das Stück von P. R. ist mit Schnüren von echten Korallen geschmückt. Sehr auffallend ist die Ähnlichkeit der beiden Fig. 568/9 abgebildeten Elfenbeinanhänger mit den zwei Bronze-Masken von Capt. Egerton (Abb. 556/7), zwischen denen eine Art Parallelismus besteht, der kaum zufällig sein dürfte: man könnte fast meinen, daß gerade diese zwei Bronze-Anhänger als Vorbild für die Elfenbein-Masken gedient haben; die Halskrausen, Art und Anordnung der durchbohrten Bossen und die schmalen Gesichter stimmen durchaus überein; nur in der Bekrönung der Haartracht gehen die beiden ge­schnitzten Masken noch über ihre gegossenen Vorbilder hinaus; die eine hat einen Kranz aus 12 Euro­päerköpfen, bei der andern wechseln 7 solche mit 6 Welsen ab. Die Augen und die Hüte der Europäer sind mit Kupfer überzogen. Daß diese kostbaren und gebrechlichen Masken als Gürtelschmuck gedient haben, wie wir das für die anscheinend verwandten Anhänger mit Tierköpfen mit Sicherheit wissen, ist von vornherein unwahrscheinlich; vielleicht hat man sie bei seltenen und festlichen Gelegenheiten um den Hals gehängt getragen, aber es gibt keine Platte und auch sonst kein Bildwerk, auf dem jemand mit einem solchen Schmucke dargestellt wäre.“ (pp. 379-380) [Abb. 556, 557, 568, 569]

F/N 1) 1. 2. Berlin, III. C. 26 372/3. — 3.4. Zwei Stücke aus der Sammlung von Sir Ralph Moor, vgl. die Abb. 568/9, das letztere Stück jetzt im Brit. Museum, vgl. C.H. Read in »Man« X. Taf. D. — 5. Rushmore, P. R. 25, vgl. die Abb. 567 ab.

Illustration technique: b/w studio photograph

Publication page: 380

Publication plate/figure: Abb. 567a,b & 568-569.

Related images: Abb. 567a,b (left): this mask was published in 1900 & 1919: see #2116.6 & 2416.213. Abb. 568-569 (middle, right): these were published in 1903 & 1919: see #s 1123.96 & 2416.213.

Keywords:
• Benin City (Country, region, place)
• Nigeria (Country, region, place)
• chiseled (Materials and techniques)
• metal (Materials and techniques)
• scrollwork (Materials and techniques)
• carved ivory (Materials and techniques)
• copper (?) (Materials and techniques)
• catfish motif (Notable features)
• queen mother (Notable features)
• pectoral mask (Object name, type)
• pendant mask (iyoba) (Object name, type)
• Edo (Style, culture group)

Collections:
• Abb. 567: Linden-Museum Stuttgart, inv. no. F 50565. (Current collection)
• Abb. 567: General Pitt Rivers' Museum, Farnham, Dorset, England: ex-collection W.D. Webster. (Collection at time of publication)
• Abb. 568: collected by Sir Ralph Moor; acquired by Prof. Prof. Charles Gabriel Seligman from a relative of Moor in 1909. (See comment section here & in #1123.96 for provenance information involving Sir Ralph Moor & Prof. Charles Seligman). (Collection at time of publication)
• Abb. 568: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, accession. no. 1978.412.323; donated by Nelson Rockefeller to Museum of Primitive Art, NYC in 1972 which museum was subsequently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (See comments in #1123.96) (Current collection)
• Abb. 569: British Museum, London, inv. nr. 10.620; discovered in 1897 in the room of the Oba Ovonramwen. (See 8/29/09 comment for additional provenance information involving Sir Ralph Moor & Prof. Prof. Charles Gabriel Seligman) (Collection at time of publication)
• Abb. 569: British Museum, London, reg. no. Af1910,0513.1. (Current collection)

Comments:
Jim Ross, (8/28/2009): The following provenance information was obtained from the entry for plates 55/56 on p47 of "Benin Art" (1960) by W. & R. Forman & Philip Dark:

Abb. 569 - collected by Sir Ralph Moor, Counsel-General of the Niger Coast Protectorate; purchased by Prof. Charles Seligman in 1909 from a relative of Moor who had received it on Moor's death; "passed on" to British Museum by Seligman. This mask is further described & discussed in the aforesaid entry.
Abb. 568 - same provenance as above thru 1909 purchase by Seligman; acquired by Museum of Primitive Art, New York from Mrs. B.Z. Seligman in 1958.



Jim Ross, (9/1/2009):

See a similar ivory mask, 8-1/4 " in height which was lent by Lieut.-Col. Sir Henry Lionel Galway to a December 1947-January 1948 exhibition at the Berkeley Galleries in London & illustrated in fig 14 in the catalogue entitled "Ancient Benin - Art of Primitive Peoples." The Gallwey mask is very similar to another mask which appears in a color photograph in fig. 3 on p142 of "Benin Kings and Rituals - Court Arts from Nigeria" (2007) edited by Barbara Plankensteiner with the followng caption: "Ivory mask of a queen mother head. Benin. 16th century. Seattle Art Museum, Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Corp., inv. 81.17.493 SAM...." A private source has informed me that the Seattle mask was acquired by Katherine White from the NYC dealer John Klejman who in turn purchased it from Sotheby's (London) ca. 1960. Haven't verified this information. The Seattle mask appears also at African Art in American Collections by Warren M. Robbins and Nancy Ingram Nooter (1989) 224, fig 576.



Fig. 4 on p143 of the Plankensteiner book shows another similar ivory queen mother mask in the Lindenmuseum, Stuttgart.



Jim Ross, (9/1/2009): Abb. 568: a color photograph of this mask appears in fig. 9 on p30 of "Benin Kings and Rituals - Court Arts from Nigeria" (2007) edited by Barbara Plankensteiner with the following caption on p31: "Ivory pendant mask of a queen mother's head, Benin, 16th century, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1972 (1978.412.323)...."

Jim Ross, (9/10/2009): Abb. 569: a color photograph of this object appears in fig 94 on p114 in "The Art of Benin" (1995 rev'd ed.) by Paula Girshick Ben-Amos with the following caption: "Ivory waist pendant worn by the Oba as part of his costume in the commemorative rites for his deceased mother (Ugie Iyoba) and for the Emobo ritual. The late Oba Akenzua II identified this mask as representing Idia, the mother of Oba Esigie, beause of the Portuguese heads around the top. Esigie is said to have been the Oba reigning when the Portuguese first arrived in Benin. H. 25cm."

Jim Ross, (9/13/2009):

In an article on these ivory Benin masks on p49 of the September 2009 issue (no. 205) of "The Art Newspaper," Martin Bailey advises (i) that these masks would be worn around the waist of the Oba as part of his regalia (ii) the Metropolitan Museum mask was acquired by Nelson Rockefeller in 1958 for 20,000 British Pounds & he donated it to the Museum of Primitive Art in 1972 (iii) there are 5 known examples of this type of mask, the two best examples being the ones owned by the British Museum & the Metropolitan Museum. Slightly smaller examples are owned by the Seattle Museum (donated in 1981 & appears on p54 of Flora Edouwaye S. Kaplan's article Images of the Queen Mother in Benin Court Art in the July 1993 issue of African Arts) and the Linden Museum in Stuttgart (bought in 1964), the latter being the mask illustrated in Abb 567. A fifth one may be offered in Sotheby's December '09 sale in Paris and "is thought to have been acquired by Sir Henry Gallwey, a leader of the Benin Punitive Expedition." See 9/1/09 comment re Gallwey mask.



Jim Ross, (9/27/2009): Abb 569:this British Museum mask appears, & it & the other two masks in abb 567 & 568 are discussed by Ekpo Eyo, on p158 in Wendy A. Grossman's "Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens" (2009).

Jim Ross, (4/14/2010): Abb 568: Met curator Alisa LaGamma advised re provenance as follows:"Sir Ralph Moor, Benin City, Nigeria; Prof. Charles Gabriel Seligman Oxford, United Kingdom; Brenda Z. Seligman, London; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, purchase, 1958; on loan to The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1958-1972; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1972-1978." LaGamma also informed me that the Queen Mother ivory was reproduced in the catalogue "Exhibition of Carvings in Ivory." Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1923, Cat. 241.

Jim Ross, (5/9/2010): Abb 569: interesting close-up photograph appears on p102-3 (fig 72) of this "pectoral mask" in Nigel Barley's 2009 British Museum publication "The Art of Benin."

Jim Ross, (12/16/2010):

Abb. 567: appears in ill. 5 on p16 in Jurgen's Zwernemann's article on the Linden-Museum, Stuttgart in the Winter 1970 issue of "African Arts" (v. III, No. 2) with the following caption: "Mask, Benin, Nigeria. Beginning of the 16th century. Ivory, slight yellow-white patina, at back fringe brown-red patina, coral and glass beads, traces of iron front ornaments, stone or part of fruit inserted as pupil. 8 in. high. Coll. Hunt, 1964. #F 50 565"
              Also appears in a color photograph in Museum: Linden-Museum Stuttgart (1987) 29.



Jim Ross, (1/16/2011):

In Flora Edouwaye S. Kaplan's article Images of the Queen Mother in Benin Court Art in the July 1993 issue of African Arts), we learn that "First among all Iyobas, and the best known is Idia, mother of Oba Esigie, who reigned circa 1504-1550.... Oral tradition credits her with raising an army and using her magical powers and knowledge of medicines to help her son overcome his enemies. On being crowned, Esigie created the title Iyoba, making Idia the first queen mother of Benin; and he built a palace for her, Eguae Iyoba, at Lower Uselu, where she lived out her days. Every Oba since then has followed this custom." In a caption to fig 1 on p55 (the ivory pendant mask at Cleveland), we're told that "The two vertical insets on the forehead are a distinctive feature of portraits of Idia." 



In a folder with material from The Cleveland Museum of Art exhibition entitled African Tribal mages - The Katherine White Reswick Collection, 1968 one finds a photograph of an ivory belt mask, 9-1/4 inches tall which I assume is the mask which ultimately was given to the Seattle Art Museum.



Jim Ross, (3/4/2012):

Abb 568: an interesting profile view of the Metropolitan Museum & the British Museum ivory masks taken together from the left side appears on p15 of the October 1959 issue of The UNESCO Courier in an article by William Fagg entitled "Two Pinnacles of African Art. Ife & Benin." It advises that the Met mask was "sold last year for £20,000 to the Museum of Primitive Art, New York." Another view of the left profile appears in The Art and Peoples of Black Africa by Jacqueline Delange, Dutton pb (1974) 127, fig 65.



Jim Ross, (3/23/2012):

Abb. 568: fine color photographs of this head appear on pp258-259 of the 2011 publication Chefs-d'oeuvre de L'Art Africain, Paris, Editions Place des Victoires.



Jim Ross, (11/17/2012):

 Abb. 569: appears in The Arts of Black Africa by Jean Laude (1966 Fr. ed. 1971 Eng. trans.) 159, ill 124 with a brief discussion on pp 158 & 160 of mask making using different materials ie ivory vs wood vs metal vs terracotta.



Appears also in The Arts of Africa by René S. Wassing (1970) 41, Pl.13.



A color photograph of the mask appears in Kunst in Afrika by Albert Theile (1961) 284, Afb. 201.



Appears in The Sculpture of Africa by Eliot Elisofon & William Fagg (1958) 62, ill. 63 with the following caption: "Benin pectoral mask. This is one of the five or six ivory masks, apparantly carved in the sixteenth-century style, which was found in a chest in King Ovonramwe's  bedroom in 1897."

Appears in a full page color photograph in Spirits Speak. A Celebration of African Masks by Peter Stepan with catalogue entries by Iris Hahner (2005) Pl. 46 with additional information on p166 including the following caption: "Pendant In Mask Form. Benin Kingdom, Nigeria. Early 16th century. Ivory, iron, copper, height 25 cm. The British Museum, London.".



Jim Ross, (12/29/2012):

 Abb. 567: appears in Negro Anthology edited by Nancy Cunard (1935) 669 with the following caption:"Ivory mask with coral beads, Benin, Nigeria   This exquisite head was bought from Mr. Webster, a London dealer, at the end of last century. Mr. Webster was one of the first ethnographers in England who saw that African and other native sculpture and carvings had intrinsic beauty and were not merely 'savage curios,' as they were regarded by the English long after other European amateurs and collectors had recognized them as works of art. Mr. Webster had a vast knowledge of the subject and made a whole series of remarkably interesting catalogues. Many of the best pieces in English museums and private collections were either acquired from him or had at one time been in his hands  Reproduced by kind permission of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Blandford."  



Jim Ross, (12/31/2012):

 Abb. 568: appears with its beard in a rather broken state in African Art in American Collections by Warren Robbins (1966) 151, fig 183 with the following caption: "Royal Pendant: Mask of Oba with Tiara of Mudfish and Europeans' Heads, Beard of Europeans' Heads. Ivory, iron, copper. 9-3/8 in. Benin Kingdom, Nigeria. Early 16th C. Museum of Primitive Art, New York."



Appears in Traditional Sculpture From The Colonies by William Fagg (1951) pl. 8 with the caption "Pectoral mask. Ivory (Benin, Nigeria). [9-1/2]."



Jim Ross, (1/4/2013):

Abb 569: appears in African Art by Michel Leiris and Jacqueline Delange (1968) 7, ill. 9.



It appears also in Centres De Style De La Sculpture De La Sculpture Nègre Africaine Vol II by Carl Kjersmeier (1936) fig 39.



It appears turned 45 degrees towards the left profile in An Introduction To Benin Art And Technology by Philip J. C. Dark (1973) pl. 34, ill. 72 with information set forth in "Notes on the Plates" on p97.



Appears also in the Detroit Institute of Arts publication Through African Eyes. The European In African Art, 1500 To Present, Nii O. Quarcoopome, Editor 2010, 26 (full page color photograph) & 35, fig 2 (small color photograph).



Appears also in African Sculpture Speaks by Ladislas Segy (1952) 141, fig 96.



Jim Ross, (1/17/2013):

See similar mask now in the collection of the Seattle Art Museum with the following information on the museum website:
Belt mask of Iyoba (Mother of the Oba) Idia, ca. 1517 - 1550
Ivory
Nigerian
Court of Benin
4 3/4 x 9 3/16in. (12 x 23.3cm)
Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company, 81.17.493



This mask appears also in African Tribal Images - The Katherine White Reswick Collection by William Fagg (1968) fig 141.



Right profile view appears in African Sculpture by William Fagg and Margaret Plass (1973 reprint of 1966 revised ed.) 66.



Appears in The Art of Black Africa by Elsy Leuzinger, Greenwich CT (1972) 155, fig K2.



The Seattle mask appears in 3 views (front view and turned slightly to left & right) in An Introduction To Benin Art And Technology by Philip J. C. Dark (1973) pl. 34, ill.71 & pl. 35, ills. 73-74. More information on the mask is set forth on pp. 96-7 in "Notes on the Plates" including that the mask "was brought back from Benin after the expedition in 1897 by Dr. R. Allman, who was Principal Medical Officer, Southern Nigeria, 1891-1905. It remained in the family until it was sold in June 1960" (presumably to Katherine White Reswick).



The Seattle mask appears also in a one page article entiled "Ancient Benin Culture, Expressed In Ivory And Bronze" in the London periodical The Illustrated London News, the issue of December 13, 1947,  No. 5669, Vol. 211, 667 with the following caption: "Ivory mask representing a Bini, with a frieze of birds round the head, and traces of iron inlay on the forehead and eyes. Length 8-1/4 ins. From the king's palace. Probably sixteenth century." The text begins as follows: The Art of Ancient Benin is the title of the Fourth Exhibition  of the Art of Primitive Peoples to be held at the Berkeley Galleries. It opened on December 1 and will continue until January 31, 1948. "The objects on view at the Exhibition...include one of the extremely rare ivory masks which probably date from the sixteenth century. This particular mask was found with two others in a neglected part of the palace of the Oba, or King of Benin."



This Seattle mask appears in fig 42 on p 33 of The Nelson Gallery and Atkins Museum Bulletin, 1962, Vol IV, No. 1 published in the form of an exhibition cataogue entitled "The Imagination of Primitive Man" compiled by Ralph T. Coe with the following caption on pp30-1: "Pectoral Mask. Ivory, 10" h. Benin, Nigeria. 16th century. Collection: Mrs. Wilbur W. Merkel. Among the most famous creations of Benin art are three 16th century ivory portrait masks, one a treasure of the British Museum, another recently purchased by the Museum of Primitive Art, New York, and this example exhibited for the first time in the United States. Several others are said to exist in British private collections. All were found by the Benin punitive expedition, February 18, 1897, in a trunk in the bedroom of the Oba Avonramwe. This mask was collected by Dr. Allman, chief medical officer of the expedition and is believed to date from the reign of the Oba Esigie (early 16th century). It lacks the row of Portuguese heads that crown the others which are obviously by another  hand. Also it is more massively carved than the others which are obviously by another hand. Iron strips were inlaid over the eyes; the open work represents coral. In these early masks, Benin art reached a height in portraiture never again achieved in the later more stereotyped bronze heads... and plaques...."



The Seattle mask appears also in the Berkeley Galleries, London exhibition catalogue entitled Ancient Benin with  forward by William Fagg (1947) NP (facing inside cover page), fig 14 with a note on the inside cover page that the mask was lent to the exhibition by Lieut.-Col. Sir Henry Lionel Galway, K.C.M.G., C.M.G., D.S.O.



The Seattle mask appears also in a photograph credited to Berkeley Galleries in Man And Art by C. A. Burland (1959) Pl. 41.



It appears also in African Art in Motion by Robert Farris Thompson (1974) 128, fig 163 & is discussed on p129.



A right profile view of the Seattle Museum mask appears in a color photograph in The African Kings. Treasures of the World by Mary Cable and the Editors of Tree Communications, Inc. (1983) 124 with the following caption: "The queen mother mask in profile...carries an amplitude of intricate carvings. The oba may have worn this mask--almost nine and a half inches high--on his back."



The Seattle mask appears also in a color photograph in the Musée Dapper, Paris publication Corps sublime by Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau (1994) 37.



The Seattle mask appears in Höfische Elfenbeinschnitzerei Im Reich Benin. Kontinuität oder Kontinuitätspostulat? by Stefan Eisenhofer (1993) Tafel 19, Abb. 1 with the following caption on p. v: " 'Allman'-Elfenbeinmaske (aus Dark 1973: Pl. 73.)."



Jim Ross, (4/18/2013):

 Abb 569: a color photograph of this ivory pectoral mask & of a detail view of a portion of its headdress appear in the British Museum publication The Art of Benin by Nigel Barley (2010) 102-3, fig 72. Interesting text.



Jim Ross, (6/2/2013):

 Abb. 569: appears on p65 of an article entitled "How to Understand African Negro Art," NA, 64-71 in the September 1954 English edition (No. 46) of the Paris periodical Réalités with the following caption: "Ivory mask, 8 inches long, now in the British Museum, was also found in Nigeria....The hair, which looks like a medieval helmet of chain mail, is woven into a decoration which appears to be eleven bearded heads wearing round hats. This piece was discovered in Benin, in the Niger delta, along with a large number of ivory and bronze works, and the fact that some of these African sculptures represent Europeans in 16th century costumes is a clue to their dates."



Jim Ross, (10/9/2013):

 Abb 568: appears in Plutarh-Antoniu Mihailescu's Bucurest exhibition catalog intilnire cu arta africana, 1968, fig 31.



Jim Ross, (11/9/2013):

 Abb. 569: appears in a color photograph on p81 of the Paris periodical Télérama, (2000) in a one page article entitled "Out of Africa" by Michel Daubert with the following caption: "Masque-Pendentif Du Royaume Du Du Bénin. Nigeria, XVe-XVIe S., Ivoire, H. 24 cm, British Museum, Londres. Cet objet fut saisi comme butin de guerre par les Britanniques en 1897."




Jim Ross, (11/16/2013):

 Abb. 568: this head appears on the cover of the Berkeley Galleries London exhibition catalog entitled (on the outside front cover) Primitive Art & (on the inside front cover)  Art of Primitive Peoples (Dec 1946-January 1947) and is discussed in the forward by Dr. Frans S. Olbrechts where he advises that only 5 such ivory masks are known to exist, 3 of which were then in British collections and that such masks without doubt had small bronze masks as prototypes. This catalog is listed as No. 16 in the gallery's series of catalogs.



Jim Ross, (12/3/2013):

Abb. 567:  appears in a color photograph on p46 of the 1996 Barcelona publication Cómo Reconocer El Arte Negroafricano by Carmen Huera with the following caption: "Pectoral tallado en marfil y decorado con cuentas de coral. Procede del reino de Benin (s. XIX), Nigeria. Linden-Museum, Stuttgart."



Appears in the Musée D'Ethnographie, Palais du Trocadéro, Paris exhibition catalogue entitled Exposition de Bronzes et Ivoires du Royaume de Bénin 15 Juin - 15 Juillet 1932, Pl. 11, no. 101 with the following commentary on p22: "Masque-Pendentif. Visage humain aux yeaux et aux scarifications incrustés. Coiffure auréolée d'une frise de poissons-chats stylisés. Oreilles longues et étroites. Quatre fils de perles de corail ornés de rosettes traversent le front, un autre fil entoure le masque et passe dans la collerette ajourée. Ce masque fut trouvé caché dans une une boite de bois à l'intérieur de la chambre du roi Duboar. (Planche 11). Catalogue Pitt-Rivers, figure 25. H. 19 cm. Pitt Rivers Museum, Farnham."



Jim Ross, (12/5/2013):

 Abb. 569: a large color photograph appears in African Art by Ezio Bassani (2012) 70, fig 45 with the following caption: Edo artist, Benin, Nigeria, 15th-16th c. Mask of queen mother. Ivory, iron and copper, 25 cm. The British Museum, Ethnography Department, London." 



Large color photographs of this mask appear in African Art  by Duncan Clarke (1995) cover & p41.



Jim Ross, (3/7/2014):

 Abb 568: appears in fig 3 on p82 of an article entitled "Nelson A. Rockefeller. The Museum of Primitive Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art" by Alisa LaGamma et al in the periodical Tribal Art, No. 69, Autumn 2013, 82-91."



Abb 567: Appears in African Royal Court Art by Michèle Coquet (1998) 131, fig 124 with the following caption: "Costume ornament. Early sixteenth century. Ivory, coral and glass beads, traces on the forehead of iron ornamernts, bits of encrusted stone or fruit (on pupils). Nigeria, kingdom of Benin, Edo. Height: 20.3 cm. Stuttgart, Linden Museum, 1954, F 50 565. Unlike that of Ile-Ife, the gaze is expressed in the brass and ivory statuary of Benin. A series of silurids, emblems of sovereignty, forms the top of the headdress. The materials (ivory and coral) confirm that this is a royal object. Like the mask in the British Museum, it represents a queen mother and may have been used by her son during commemorative ceremonies. Worn by the oba and dignitaries on the left hip, these masks camouflaged the pagne knot."



NB "silurids" are mudfish.



Jim Ross, (5/6/2014):

 Abb. 568: full page color photograph of this Metropolitan Museum of Art head appears in The African Kings. Treasures of the World by Mary Cable and the Editors of Tree Communications, Inc. (1983) 123 with the following caption on p122: "The elegant features of this queen mother mask embody the ritual solemnity of her title--which was not necessarily held by the oba's mother; an elder female relative might fill the role. Both the tiara and neckpiece of the mask display Portuguese heads. When the oba wore this treasure at his hip, he was effectively stressing his monopolistic trading relationship with the useful foreigners." Also appears in Native Arts of North America, Africa, and the South Pacific - An Introduction by George A. Corbin (1988) 164, fig 14 with the following caption: "Benin (Nigeria) ivory belt mask of a queen mother. From Benin  (Nigeria)."



Jim Ross, (5/6/2014):

 Abb. 569: A full page color photograph of this British Museum head appears in The African Kings. Treasures of the World by Mary Cable and the Editors of Tree Communications, Inc. (1983) 125 with the following portion of the caption informing us that "the artist ornamented the face with a choker of coral beads and guilloche band--two conventiional adornments." It appears also in Native Arts of North America, Africa, and the South Pacific - An Introduction by George A. Corbin (1988) 164, fig 15 with the following caption, in relevant part: "Benin (Nigeria) ivory belt mask of a queen mother (early period)...."



An engraving of this mask appears in Kultur in Schwarzafrika by Edith Broszinsky-Schwabe (1988) opposite the title page & on p81.



Jim Ross, (12/12/2014):

 Abb 567: appears in a large photograph in Africa and the Renaissance. Art in Ivory by Ezio Bassani & William Fagg (1988) 154, fig. 197 with the following caption: "Belt mask. Benin, Nigeria, 16th century. Ivory carvers working for the king, or oba, of Benin made a series of similar masks shortly after the arrival of the Portuguese. They were probably worn at the hip as pendants by the king during commemorative rites for his deceased mother. This refined, naturalistic style is typical of the early period of Benin art. Ivory, coral, 19.5 cm. Lindenmuseum, Stuttgart."



Jim Ross, (1/10/2015):

 Abb. 567: appears in Höfische Elfenbeinschnitzerei Im Reich Benin. Kontinuität oder Kontinuitätspostulat? by Stefan Eisenhofer (1993) Tafel 19, Abb. 2 with the following caption on p. v: "Elfenbeinmaske aus Stuttgart (aus Koloss 1982: A 8)."



Abb. 569: appears in same publication mentioned in previous paragraph, Tafel 19, Abb. 3 with the following caption on p. v: "Elfenbeinmaske aus London (aus Fagg 1970: Pl. 17)."



Jim Ross, (6/1/2015): Abb. 569: color photograph of pendant mask turned slightly to viewer's left appears in Prehistoric And Primitive Man by Andreas Lommel (1966) 156, fig 96 which says that it's 7-1/2" h. (19 cm.).

Jim Ross, (6/21/2015): Abb 569: appears in a color photograph on the outside cover sheet of festac '77 - Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (1977).

Jim Ross, (8/31/2015): Abb 569: appears in a full page b/w photograph in The Other Face: The Mask in the Arts by Walter Sorell (1973) 33.

Jim Ross, (10/30/2015): Abb 569: a full-page color photograph of this British Museum mask appears in the Moscow publication Maski i Sculptura Tropicheskoi Afriki by Anatolii Andreevich Gromyko (1984) pl 24.

It appears also in 
Iskusstvo narodov Afriji - ocerki chudozestvennoj kul'tury s drevnosti do nastojascego vremeni [an English translation  of the title is "Art of the peoples of Africa"] by Boris V. Vejmarn, S.A. Kaufman, et al in a chapter by G. A. (Galina Aleksamdrovna) Chernova (1975) ill. 224.

Jim Ross, (11/1/2015): Abb 569: appears in Moscow publication Yskusstvo Trophyshekov Aphryky (translated to "The Art of Tropical Africa - System Typology Evolution.") by V.V. Mirimanov (1986) 198, fig 105.

Jim Ross, (12/17/2015): Abb. 568: appears in a full page color photograph in Civilisations des arts premiers by Ivan Bargna (2009) 385 with the following caption: "Art édoroyaume de Bénin. Masque de ceinture; ivoire, fer, cuivre (?) xvie siècle. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York."