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Box with lid

Arts of Africa

CULTURE Edo
MEDIUM Wood
DATES second half of 19th century
DIMENSIONS 4 7/16 × 27 7/8 × 7 5/8 in. (11.3 × 70.8 × 19.3 cm)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 56.6.63a-b
CREDIT LINE Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Rectangular carved wooden box and lid with incised decoration. Lid has two carved illustrations that face in opposite directions from each other making it necessary to turn the box 180 degrees to see each carved illustration clearly. One illustration depicts a European seated on a chair with a utensil in his hands. A cup, pitcher, and four bottles are on a table in front of him; the other illustration shows a woman holding a sword in one hand and a spear in the other with a male attendant carrying a knife in a sheath across his chest on his proper left side, while holding a flute horizontally in front of his face. The sides of the box show a man drinking while carrying an umbrella, a warrior holding a severed head, two headless bodies, a second warrior holding a gun, and a couple having intercourse. Three interior portions/chambers. Overall condition is good. On the lid, there are reinforced cracks in the rim near the proper left side of the flute player and cracks in the rim at the bottom below the seated man. Small elements in the carving on the top and sides have cleaved off along the grain, leaving the light wood surface exposed at the breaks. This exposure is especially evident on the lid where a woman is depicted-- affecting her arms, hair, and the left side of her spear; it is also apparent on the utensil held by the European. Wood used for this object is generally very coarse and roughly finished leaving many raised splinters, especially on the surface of the interior.
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