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Double Bell (Egogo)

Arts of Africa

This is one of the oldest surviving African ivory sculptures; only six of these ivory gongs are known. Double gongs were used by the oba (king) during the Emobo ceremony to drive away evil spirits. The carving here depicts the oba, supported by his military commander and his heir.
DATES early 16th century
DIMENSIONS 14 1/8 × 3 15/16 × 2 9/16 in. (35.8 × 10 × 6.5 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS Written in black ink on inside of bell: "BENIN. BT. OF MR H. LING ROTH. 1898."; written in red ink on inside of bell: "58.160"
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE A. Augustus Healy Fund and Frank L. Babbott Fund
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CAPTION Edo. Double Bell (Egogo), early 16th century. Ivory, 14 1/8 × 3 15/16 × 2 9/16 in. (35.8 × 10 × 6.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund and Frank L. Babbott Fund, 58.160. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 58.160_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 58.160_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Two bell forms on a long handle; large bell carved with 3 figures: chief standing with arms upheld by attendants; background is elaborately carved with curved interlocking pattern, small bells or facsimiles of same run-up sides of sisturn and along top; one side of top has projecting human figure, on top of small bell is an alligator head holding a human hand. Base is geometrically carved. Large bell originally showed mudfish figure and snake-wing bird.
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