Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1988.472
People
Unidentified Artist
Title
Hand-held Clapper with Bird of Prophecy
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Bird on a staff
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
statue, sculpture
Date
17th-18th century
Places
Creation Place: Africa, Nigeria, Benin City
Culture
Edo
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/226425
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Bronze
Technique
Cast, lost-wax process
Dimensions
30.2 x 12.1 x 8.9 cm (11 7/8 x 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 in.)
Provenance
The royal palace, Benin City; probably taken by British forces during the Punitive Expedition, 1897. Lois Dailey Orswell, Pomfret Center, CT, by 1972, gift; to the Harvard University Art Museums, 1988

The bronze, ivory and wooden artworks broadly known as the “Benin Bronzes” were taken from Benin City as part of the British Punitive Expedition of 1897 and dispersed to private collections and museums around the world. The Harvard Art Museums acknowledge the violence and trauma of the Expedition and understand that the presence of this cultural material in Western museums is experienced as continued injustice by descendent communities.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, The Lois Orswell Collection
Accession Year
1988
Object Number
1988.472
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Marjorie B. Cohn and Sarah Kianovsky, Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 283, fig. 55, pp. 112-115, 359

Exhibition History

Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/21/2002 - 02/16/2003

Re-View: S424-426 Western Art from 1560 to 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu