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In the first half of 20th century, how was gold inspected for authenticity?

In the first half of 20th century, how was gold inspected for authenticity?

Let's say this for the years 1900 - 1950, before we had modern analysis tools. When trade payments were made in gold, how was the gold inspected for quality? How did they assess the purity of gold, such that they knew a particular ingot weighed 3 kg but was only 0.9 pure and thus they were really getting 2.7 kg of actual gold?

I'm imagining this for trade agreements. At the port, someone exchanges gold for the goods. Surely that gold was inspected somehow.


As Denis observed in the comments above, for many countries, gold would have been traded through securities in the first half of the twentieth century. In those cases the physical transfer of the gold would indeed have been the exception, rather than the rule. That said, there would undoubtedly have been a great many cases where gold was transferred as payment, and some form of metallurgical assay to ensure its purity would have been required.

Apart from a few modern techniques like X-ray fluorescence (XRF), most of the techniques used to assay gold were in use long before the twentieth century. (In any event, XRF - although non-detructive - can be fooled by surface treatments like gold-plating). The most likely techniques, however, would be using a "touchstone" or conducting a "Fire Assay".

In the example you give, where the gold was to be exchanged for the goods at the port, testing would probably have been carried out with a touchstone. The use of touchstones dates back to antiquity, and they remain in use to this day. These could easily distinguish between, for example, 14 carat and 24 carat gold (I've done it myself), and I read that experienced testers can achieve accuracies of better than 5%.

If a more accurate assessment was required, a Fire Assay may have been carried out on a sample from one or more of the ingots. This technique is destructive, but has been available since the sixteenth century (a version is mentioned in Agricola's De Re Metallica). I would very much doubt that a Fire Assay could have been carried out at the port though (unless specialist facilities were available there expressly for that purpose).

[One of the reasons that national mints introduced mint-marks on bullion from about the eighteenth century was to assure its quality and so eliminate the heed for such testing].

Today, a fire assay on gold can achieve an accuracy of better than 0.05%. My reading of the text of A Manual of Assaying, by Arthur Stanley Miller, seems to suggest that similar accuracies would have been achievable when it was published in 1905.


For smaller transactions, early 20th century literature has a lot of references of people biting into the gold. See more detail in this answer to a closely related question in the history section of Skeptics.SE.


A classical test that does not seem to have yet been mentioned was a literal "acid test": the purported golden item is rubbed onto a stone, after which the mark is treated first with aqua fortis (nitric acid). True gold should not dissolve in it; a follow-up treatment with aqua regia should then dissolve the mark made, if the golden article is genuine. (See e.g. this.)


3.7: Art and Death

  • Kathy Curnow
  • Associate Professor (Art & Design) at Cleveland State University
  • Sourced from Michael Schwartz Library Open Textbooks

Most traditional African religions do not believe death is the end of being. The deceased will typically be reincarnated into his or her own family as a member of the same gender experienced when living, or, if all goes well, will become an ancestor. But what does becoming an ancestor mean? Not everyone is eligible, for one has to be an adult with children. Those who die in infancy or as youths, those who die childless&ndashnone will become ancestors, for the entryway to ancestorhood is through the proper rites performed by one&rsquos children at a funeral. Ancestors are tasked with ensuring their descendants behave according to long-established behavioral precepts. Breaking those regulations incurs ancestral wrath, which can be manifested individually through sickness, misfortune, infertility, or even death, or focused more broadly on a community through farm failures, droughts, or other disasters. Atonement through sacrifice can return life to equilibrium, and divination is usually the force that reveals the specifics of ancestors&rsquo anger and the solution for their forgiveness. Blessings are sought from ancestors as well, and they are invoked and praised when good things happen within the family. In societies that have ancestral altars, these are usually the focus of interaction otherwise, known gravesites attract sacrifice or alcoholic libations (palm wine, gin or schnapps) may more generally be made to the earth, the site of burials.

/>Figure 373. Two wooden figures, the larger of which is just over 7 feet tal. Made by an Ngata male artist, they were photographed as early as 1893 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are now in the Royal Museum for Central Africa&ndashTervuren. Photo in Charles François Alexandre Lemaire&rsquos Voyage au Congo (Brussels: Bulen, 1895, n.p). Public domain.


Offers on Items Sold at Auction

Heritage members can make anonymous offers to owners of items purchased in Heritage auctions. Since these items may not be auctioned again for some time, it’s a wonderful opportunity to purchase a collectible you may have otherwise missed out on with confidence in its authenticity. This page lists all offers made by members in our Make Offer to Owner program.

Learn more about Making Offers to Owners

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This is a great way for collectors to acquire rare items that may not otherwise be made available, and an easy, quick and inexpensive option for some owners to re-sell items purchased at auction from Heritage.

Items purchased from Heritage at auction are automatically included in the Make Offer to Owner program. The inclusion of the item does not indicate that the owner is willing to sell, and the minimum offer amounts default to 50% more than the purchase price unless the owner manually sets an amount. Please note that the winner of this Heritage auction lot may or may not still own this item and has the option to accept, counter, reject or ignore the offer.

The items fall into four main classifications:

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The owner of this item has set an amount that they are likely to accept. These items are included in our Buy Now search results, Wantlists and My Recommendations programs. This is a great way for owners to sell with the lowest hassle and cost.

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This item's owner is actively responding to (though not necessarily routinely accepting) offers. Most owners in this category are still actively buying, and therefore interested only in offers where they can net (after our 10% fee) an amount sufficiently above today's market value. Owners in this category seldom counter-offer, and will usually simply reject offers placed at current auction values or lower.

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The owner of this item has interacted with the program in the past, but has recently been inactive, so we don't expect the owner to respond at all unless your offer is extremely high.

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The owner of this item has not indicated that they are willing to sell the item, nor yet interacted with the program. We automatically include these items primarily to allow collectors a chance to acquire items that may not come to market for some time, maybe ever. Statistically speaking, most of these offers will be ignored, and unless the owner responds to one of the next several offers, all items from this owner will be removed from the program. (Owners can always opt back in whenever they are ready to participate.)

How does it work?

You make an offer at or above the Minimum Offer or Buy Now amount, and our system anonymously communicates that to the owner via email and through My Collection. Our software allows offers and counter-offers, but we suggest making your best offer the first time as most owners will not respond to low offers at all. You will receive a response or no-response email from Heritage within 3 business days. Most owners are unwilling to sell at current market because they paid full market when they purchased the item, then held it for a period of time, and should rightfully be entitled to a profit over today's full market value. While we urge all clients to respond to each offer and provide counter offers, at times some do not respond. They may consider a non-response as a rejection, and are especially unlikely to respond when the offer isn't close to an amount they would accept.

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Chapter 3.7 Art and Death

Most traditional African religions do not believe death is the end of being. The deceased will typically be reincarnated into his or her own family as a member of the same gender experienced when living, or, if all goes well, will become an ancestor. But what does becoming an ancestor mean? Not everyone is eligible, for one has to be an adult with children. Those who die in infancy or as youths, those who die childless–none will become ancestors, for the entryway to ancestorhood is through the proper rites performed by one’s children at a funeral. Ancestors are tasked with ensuring their descendants behave according to long-established behavioral precepts. Breaking those regulations incurs ancestral wrath, which can be manifested individually through sickness, misfortune, infertility, or even death, or focused more broadly on a community through farm failures, droughts, or other disasters. Atonement through sacrifice can return life to equilibrium, and divination is usually the force that reveals the specifics of ancestors’ anger and the solution for their forgiveness. Blessings are sought from ancestors as well, and they are invoked and praised when good things happen within the family. In societies that have ancestral altars, these are usually the focus of interaction otherwise, known gravesites attract sacrifice or alcoholic libations (palm wine, gin or schnapps) may more generally be made to the earth, the site of burials.

/> Fig. 373. Two wooden figures, the larger of which is just over 7 feet tal. Made by an Ngata male artist, they were photographed as early as 1893 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are now in the Royal Museum for Central Africa–Tervuren. Photo in Charles François Alexandre Lemaire’s Voyage au Congo (Brussels: Bulen, 1895, n.p). Public domain.

Coffins

Fig. 375. A chicken, wood plane and fish coffin await pickup. Kofi Kwei branch workshop south of Kumase, Ga male artists, Ghana, 2017. Photo Kathy Curnow. Fig. 374. Coffin for an “important man.” Mongo male artist(s), Democratic Republic of Congo, 19th century. Photo by H. M. Whiteside. In Walter Hutchinson, Customs of the World, vol. 2. London: Hutchinson, 1926.

Most burials (which should not be confused with funerals) were hasty in the past, because bodies rapidly decay in the heat. This initial step used to be a relatively basic affair, except for monarchs or extremely powerful individuals. Burials can still be fairly simple in many cases, with the body wrapped in a shroud or mat. In pre-15th century Jenne, however, corpses were arranged in a fetal position within giant pots in some parts of Central Africa, they were bundled into giant baskets. After preparation, all were interred, accompanied by prayer.

For the most part, the use of coffins for burials was introduced by Christian missions, and they generally follow a Western format–a wooden box with metallic trim (Fig. 372). Some notable exceptions occur, however. Among the Ngata of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as their Nkundu and Toba neighbors, important individuals once had large anthropomorphic coffins (Fig. 373). These occurred in both male and female forms, and were hollowed at the back. The space for the corpse is fairly narrow, but apparently the body was desiccated before being placed within, so these coffins began with skeletal remains. Their coloration of red and white recalling the passage from life to death in the art of the Kongo, members of a fellow Bantu-language group. The practice had ceased by the 1940s.

Early in the 20th century, a nearby ethnic group, the Mongo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, also constructed coffins for their great men, though these were not figurative (Fig. 374). The corpse was dried during the period it took for the coffin’s creation, then placed inside. This large wooden structure. said to have been made for a hunter, was patterned and ornamented with abstract allusions to animals, as well as sticks meant to represent spears.

Fig. 376. A ballpoint pen may be the final resting place of a teacher or civil servant, while the house may represent the deceased’s property, complete with rooftop water tank. Kane Kwei satellite workshop, just south of Kumase. Ga male artists, Ghana, 2017. Photo Kathy Curnow.

In the Ga region of Ghana, in Accra’s suburbs, a new direction in coffin-making began in the mid-20th century. Seth Kane Kwei carved palanquins for chiefs they were carried in them at festivals. In 1957, one client requested a palanquin in the shape of a cocoa pod–a whimsical departure from the standard cloth-covered wooden boxes. The palanquin was converted to a coffin when he died before taking possession of it, and Kane Kwei slowly turned his hand to other fancifully-shaped coffin models. By the time of his death in 1992, his products had become world-renowned, the subject of many photo essays and books. His former apprentice, Paa Joe, had established his own workshop, Kane Kwei’s shop continued under the leadership of two of his sons in succession, and about eight other workshops also took up the mantle. Their coffins often reflect the deceased’s profession (Fig. 375), either literally or metaphorically–a huge fish for a fisherman, a hen for a mother , an onion for a farmer, a soft drink or beer bottle for a woman who sells cold drinks. Their use is very limited–almost all Ghanaian clients are also Ga people, although a branch of Kane Kwei’s workshop is now on the main road just south of Kumase (Fig. 376). Certain Christian sects ban their use within their churches, although exceptions are made for coffins in the shape of a Bible. The coffins are borne aloft by pallbearers in procession, a focal point for lavish funerals, and then are buried. Since the 1970s, some Westerners have purchased coffins for themselves or for museum displays growing interest after considerable international publicity in the 1990s has led to Internet sales, as well as to tabletop models that require less space for shipping and display. Prices are high, but are on a sliding scale Ga buyers who actually will use their coffins are charged less. The introduction of this new form and its subsequent growth mirror earlier practices on the continent–an artist introduces a new form or a substantial variation of an established form, gains clients, and imitators emerge. Whether any given innovation will have a long lifespan with centuries of permutations is unknown at the time of its introduction some new forms vanish within a generation.

Funerals

Fig. 377. Obituary announcement in a major Nigerian newspaper, 2004. The deceased’s all-night wake-keeping is a feature of many Christian funerals. Fig. 378. Obituary announcement on a billboard in Kumase, Ghana. Photo Kathy Curnow, 2017.

As occasions that can necessitate great expense, funerals do not always take place immediately after death. In the past, bodies might be buried quickly, but funerals could be delayed for months or years until the resources for the ceremony were gathered. With the advent of mortuaries, corpses can remain resident there until the family is prepared for public celebration. Funerals traditionally are held only for adults who have borne children others are buried but not celebrated. For those who lived a full life and had many children, funerals can be a rollicking party, complete with musicians, dancing, food and drink, and, in some regions, masquerade involvement. The properly-conducted funerals that ensure ancestorhood also allow the deceased’s property to be distributed according to traditional law otherwise it may be locked up, ensuring rites are carried out.

Fig 379. Family members wear the same lace cloth in the funeral for Mrs. Faremi, a Yoruba lady from Oshogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. Photo SUPREME LACE, 2004. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0.

Obituary announcements can occasion great expense. These are made not only by the immediate family members, but by business associates of the deceased or their spouse and can occur in the newspapers (Fig. 377), as videos on television, or, as occurs in Ghana, on billboards (Fig. 378). These not only accord respect to the deceased and their families, but are meant to publicize the funeral so that attendance (even by strangers) will be high and satisfaction with the occasion will spread, enhancing the family’s reputation. Funerary celebrations can often last for several days, particularly if the deceased was a well-known individual.

Fig. 380. This Asante leader wears a black-on-black stamped adinkra funerary cloth for the late Queen Mother’s funeral rites. Single frame from CGTN Africa’s “Ghana’s Ashanti queen honoured with elaborate four-day funeral,” 2017.

Funerals can demand special attire. The Yoruba of Nigeria and Benin Republic, among other groups, often decide on a common cloth to be worn by family during a funeral (Fig. 379), or by those belonging to a social club in attendance. This is an example of aso ebi, a group cloth or uniform that can be styled to the wearer’s taste, a practice that extends to weddings as well. Among the Asante of Ghana, funerary cloths made from adinkra, a stamped textile, are worn in mourning colors of red, brown, and black (Fig. 380), women often wearing a headband as well. In some other regions, the family and friends of the deceased may commission a commemorative cloth with the deceased’s photo and birth and death dates (Fig. 381).

Fig. 381. Detail of a men’s shirt tailored from a 2004 printed commemorative cloth that honors an Ewe chief from eastern Ghana. The English phrase “Rest in Peace” is paired with the Ewe aphorism “Nuse le deka wowo me“–“Strength in Unity.” Photo by Tommy Miles. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0.

Cemeteries and Grave Sculptures

Fig. 382. Cemetery on the outskirts of Kumase, Ghana photos are on many headstones. Photo by Kathy Curnow, 2017.

In many parts of Africa, burials take or took place in the home, with distinguished family members often interred in their bedroom. In some places, such as southern Ghanaian cities, public health regulations now outlaw this practice, and cemeteries have become common (Fig. 382), their contents ranging from simple graves to marble slabs with carving. The many British cemeteries along the coast influenced later sites, some of which were created by the British for their own citizens, others for the Ghanaian forces who fought in WWII and other European conflicts (Fig. 383).

Fig. 383. Christian headstone for a Ghanaian Signal corpsman who died in 1943 and was buried in Accra’s WWII cemetery. Photo by Sweggs, 2006. Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0.

In other regions, cemeteries sited outside the community have long existed, fixing the dead away from the living to avoid unsanctioned interference. In southwestern Niger, near the Burkina Faso border, numerous cemeteries were created from the 3rd-11th century CE. The largest one found so far is the so-called Bura-Asinda-Sikka necropolis,

Fig. 384. Left: Terracotta grave marker, gender and ethnicity of artist unknown. Bura culture, Burkina Faso, 3rd-11th century. H 21″. © High Museum of Art, 2004.231. Anonymous gift. https://high.org/ Right: Terracotta human head broken from a full or partial figure. Artist’s gender and ethnicity unknown, Bura, Niger, ca. 300–1200. H. 11.5″. Yale University Art Gallery, 2010.6.35. Gift of SusAnna and Joel B. Grae. Public domain. Fig. 385. This Swahili pillar tomb included several Asian porcelains, some made of celadon with dragon reliefs. Swahili male construction, Mtangata, Tanzania, 14th-18th century. About 40 tombs were in the cemetery of this trading center that was abandoned in the 18th century. Image from the missionary R. P. Le Roy’s article “De Zanzibar à Lamo. (suite).” Les Missions Catholiques: Bulletin Hebdomadaire Illustré de l’Oeuvre de la Propagation de la Foi 21 (1027, 1889): 67.

which contains over 600 decorated graves within a circular area only a little over a half mile in diameter. These were decorated with tubular or hemispherical terracotta vessels, their surfaces often richly patterned, which were surmounted by human heads or figures, including equestrian images (Fig. 384). The faces are abstract and flattened, taking either a rectangular or round form. The phallic vessels sometimes have navel-like protrusions. They were placed with their open side down, and included some grave goods. Excavations have yielded copper-alloy jewelry, beads, weapons, and pottery associated with the burials, the whole suggesting a society of considerable wealth, perhaps due to gold fields in the vicinity.

Fig. 386. Several stone stelae with a broken example in the foreground. Aksumite men (proto-Tigraya?), Ethiopia, 3rd-4th century CE. Photo by Martijn Munneke, 2012. Creative Commons CC-BY 2.0.

The Swahili of the East African coast have buried their dead in cemeteries for centuries, using rag coral to erect pillars (Fig. 385) or domed tombs for important traders. These were plastered over, the plaster often then carved in geometric patterns. From at least the 13th century, these often had imported porcelain from China or Vietnam pressed into the surface, decorative additions that often spoke to the wealth of the interred and put him in competition with his neighboring traders. In wealthy Swahili homes, similar porcelain was placed in niches, acting not only as exotica, but meant to absorb the malevolence of evil spirits.

Fig. 387. Entrance to a ruler’s tomb chamber at the base of a stone stele. At Axum, Ethiopia, 3rd-4th century CE. Photo by Adam Jones, 2013. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0. Fig. 388. Extensive stone underground burial chamber for a ruler at Axum, Ethiopia, 3rd-4th century CE. At Axum, Ethiopia, 3rd-4th century CE. Photo by Adam Jones, 2013. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0.

A number of East African groups in Ethiopia and Kenya marked graves with both abstract and figurative structures. From the 2nd to the 4th century CE, stelae were erected over the burial places of important individuals as well as the rulers of Axum (also spelled Aksum) in present-day northern Ethiopia (Fig. 386). This state was a regional trading power from about the first century BCE to the 8th century CE, with marine trade featuring ivory that reached into Byzantium, other parts of the eastern Mediterranean, and across the Red Sea in the 4th century CE, the ruler became a Christian and Christianity was established as the state religion. Although the stelae are often referred to as “obelisks,” they are not Egyptian obelisks flanked temple entrances and were made in pairs, covered with hieroglyphics, and were topped by a pyramidal shape. Like the obelisks, however, the Axum stelae are monoliths, and have similar heights, ranging from only about three feet high to a soaring 97 feet–the taller ones marked royal tombs. While older examples exist, the large royal markers date from the 3rd and 4th centuries CE, and the carving on their surface replicates the exterior of elite stone buildings, such as

Fig. 389. Left: A group of wooden figures surrounds the figure of the hero (in the middle) who is buried here. His spears become a veritable forest. Konso male artist, Ethiopia, 19th century. Photo in Arnold Hodson’s article “Southern Abyssinia.” The Geographical Journal 53 (2, 1919): facing p. 76. Public domain. Right: This wooden figure representing a hero’s wife would have stood on his grave amidst other representations her necklaces mark her high status. Konso male artist, Ethiopia, 19th century. H 39.25″. Brooklyn Museum, 1998.124.1. Gift of Serge and Jodie Becker-Patterson. Creative Commons CC-BY 3.0.

the palaces, including imitations of wooden beams, doors, and windows. Their tops are curved, with nail holes indicating former attachments. Tomb entrances are at the foot of the stelae (fig. 387), but the tombs themselves are empty, having been stripped of valuables long ago (Fig. 388). The use of stone for these tombs, like its use in Nubia to the north, speaks to a consciousness of history and a desire for permanence.

Stone is an uncommon building and sculptural material in most of sub-Saharan Africa. Some places further south in Ethiopia have short stone markers, but use wood for their main burial sculptures. The Konso of Ethiopia’s southwestern highlands live in high, rock-terraced communities surrounded by multiple rock walls. Their culture stresses male egalitarianism, but within their forests they have created burial sites for societal heroes. These are marked by narrow figures (wa’kka) (Fig. 389) of the commemorated individual surrounded by other carvings that represent their wives and the enemies they killed. Meant to be inspirational to their descendants, they are the pride of family members. The nude central figure (Fig. 390) depicts the hero,

Fig. 390. This more recent hero depiction wears a kalacha ornament on his forehead, as well as a series of graduated beaded necklaces. Konso male artist, Ethiopia, late 20th or 21st century. Public domain. Fig. 391. This metal forehead ornament, known as kalacha, rests on an ivory disk some examples are attached to a ground white shell. Konso male artist, Ethiopia, 20th century. L 2.67″. © Trustees of the British Museum, Af1972,39.150.a. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

who was ceremonially recognized as such when alive. He wears a carved forehead ornament that imitates a metal phallic form (kalacha) worn by heroes, priests, and notables of other nearby people (Fig. 391) these are said to have originated from the severed penises of enemies, stuffed and worn as more temporary trophies. Ostrich shells mark the eyes, while animal bones are used to create teeth. His masculinity is emphasized in multiple ways beyond the kallasha his weapons are by his side, and statues of his wives flank him. Killed and castrated enemies are shown at the ends of the lined-up figures or in front of them, and an animal from one of the hero’s successful hunts lays before him, as do pebbles that mark fields he owned. The family’s respect is demonstrated by the wa’kka, but the town’s recognition is marked by a cylindrical stone placed in front of the wooden row, which will outlast them. At the time of their erection, the statues are painted red with black eyebrows, but weathering wears away most of the color over time. Protestant missionization, begun in 1954, has greatly impacted the creation of new wa’kka and other customs, despite the fact

Fig. 392. This wooden tomb sculpture’s cracks and worn surface reflect its exposure to the elements. Male Sihanaka sculptor, Madagascar, 19th century. Photo in Marius-Ary Leblond’s book, La Grande île de Madagascar, p, 198. Paris: Librairie Ch. Delagrave, 1907. Public domain.

that the graves do not conflict with Christian belief. The region, its landscape, generational transition stone stele markers, and the wa’kka themselves constitute one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

On the large island of Madagascar, numerous ethnic groups bury the dead in cemeteries that are marked with stone tombs or wooden sculptures. Some of the sculptures, such as figures by the Sihanaka (Fig. 392). are extremely large. The tombs of the sea-oriented Vezo on the western

Fig. 393. Wooden fencing surrounds these tombs which are decorated with human figures and abstract birds, the latter said to represent sea-going birds sacred to the Vezo people. Vezo or Sakalava male carvers, Morondava, Madagascar, 19th century. From an image in General Gallieni’s “Voyage du Général Gallieni. Cinq mois autour de Madagascar.” Le Tour du Monde: Journal des Voyages et des Voyageurs., n.s. 6 (liv. 11, 1900): 128. Public domain.

part of the island, as well as those of the Sakalava who are the region’s larger population, are individually palisaded and kept away from settlements (Fig. 393). Figurative grave markers are also known among the inland Bara.

The Mahafaly, who live in the southwestern part of Madagascar, have a tradition of cemeteries outside settlements, but their decoration has changed substantially over time. Early in the

Fig. 394. These two aloalo grave posts represent the most typical finials: an ox/bull and a pair of birds. Relatively little substantive research has provided explanations for the geometric motifs. The Vezo/Sakalava also carve openwork graveposts, but their forms differ. Mahafaly male sculptors, Madagascar, 20th century Left: H 7.05′. Musée du Quai Branly, 75.15220.1. Right: H 7.12′. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1974.47.73.

20th century, highly-decorated graves were reserved for royals. Their burials were marked large stone plots, and groups of carved wooden posts (aloalo) often over seven

Fig. 395. This aloalo grave post was made before 1974 and may represent a Peugeot from the 1950s. Mahafaly male sculptor, Madagascar, 20th century. H 6.86′. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1974.47.72.

feet high were inserted into them. On the platform’s surface were the horns of zebu cattle, the humpbacked breed raised in the area these were from the zebu slain for the funeral feast. Cattle numbering 1000 were destined for the burial of a ruler who died in 1912 his grave and the 40 aloalo that were erected required six months of preparation. As the century advanced, wealthy individuals were permitted burials made in the same vein. The aloalo are often about six feet tall. Their stems are usually flattened openwork forms carved in geometric shapes that stress crescents and circles, perhaps references to the moon. The finial section often takes a figurative form. Earlier examples mostly depicted cattle, the livelihood of the Mahafaly, or birds (Fig. 394). Later posts include representations of the deceased performing a significant action that took place in his lifetime, or refer to noteworthy objects they encountered, such as an airplane or vehicle (Fig. 395).

Fig. 396. From top to bottom, A: Grave with posts made by a Mahafaly male sculptor, Madagascar, 20th century. Photo by Louis Molet, 1953. Musée du Quai Branly, PF0176378. B: Tomb with wooden posts made by a Mahafaly male sculptor, Madagascar, late 20th or early 21st century. Photo by Zigomar, 2010. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0. C: Christian obelisk grave markers made by Mahafaly male sculptors, Madagascar, 20th century. Photo by Moongateclimber, 2006. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0. D: Christian graves constructed by Mahafaly male sculptors, Madagascar, 20th century. Photo by Martha de Jong-Lantink Follow, 2004. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

As time went on, finial forms expanded (Fig. 396 A), the grave often was surrounded by a cement wall, frequently decorated with paintings, and a house-like structure might be centered within it (Fig. 396 B). As more Mahafaly became Christians, cement obelisks inscribed with crosses and names became de rigueur, their model the monuments from European graveyards (Fig. 396 C) these were also employed by the neighboring Antanosy. Additional late 20th-century Christian graves were still created as stone-topped platforms, miniature house forms bearing paintings of the deceased with crosses erected to the side (Fig. 396 D). Aloalo are still made, although they are usually finished with oil paint (Fig. 397).

Fig. 397. This painted wooden aloalo still bears the image of a bull or ox. Jean-Jacques Efiaimbelo (1925 – 2001). male Mahafaly sculptor, Madagascar, before 1990. H 7.4′. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1990.58.2.

Further Readings

Archdeacon, Sarajane. “Erotic Grave Sculpture of the Sakalava and Vezo.” Transition No. 12 (Jan./Feb., 1964): 43-47.

Devisse, J., ed. Vallées du Niger. Paris: Reunion des Musees Nationaux, I993.

Gensheimer, Thomas R. “Research Notes: Monumental Tomb Architecture of the Medieval Swahili Coast.” Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 19 (1, 2012): 107-114.

Mack, John. “Tomb sculpture” entries. In Tom Phillips, ed. Africa: The Art of a Continent, p. 148. Munich: Prestel, 1995.

Morin, Floriane. “Bura Asinda-Sikka necropolis in Niger.” In African terra cottas: a millenary heritage: in the Barbier-Mueller collections, pp. 106-111 427.

Nguyen Huu Giao, France-Aimée. “An Encounter with the Konso, the ‘People of the Aurora,’ and a Visit to Their New Museum.Tribal Art 15 (No. 58, 1, Winter, 2010): 110-115.

Zhao, Bing. “Global Trade and Swahili Cosmopolitan Material Culture: Chinese-Style Ceramic Shards from Sanje ya Kati and Songo Mnara (Kilwa, Tanzania).” Journal of World History 23 (1, 2012): 41-85.

Effigies, Reliquaries, and Reliquary Guardians

Fig. 398. This royal funerary effigy represented Oba Ovaramnwen during his 1914 funeral. Edo artist, Benin Kingdom, Nigeria, 20th century. Photo in W. B. Rumann, “Funeral Ceremonies for the Late Ex-Oba of Benin.” Journal of the Royal African Society 14, No. 53 (Oct., 1914): opp. p. 38. Public domain.

Aside from tombs, there are other objects associated with the dead, some of which begin with the funeral. As mentioned, in the past many funerals took place after burial, since resources needed to be mustered and mortuaries did not yet exist. Some societies employed effigies of the deceased to serve as a focal point for the funeral, since the corpse itself had already been interred.

The Edo from Benin Kingdom would take some hair and nail clippings from the deceased to prepare for a post-burial funeral. Typically, they would then take kaolin “chalk” and mix these with it, modeling a simple human form, piercing the effigy for a woman, adding a penis for a man. At the funeral, the effigy would be “dressed” in cloth and placed on a draped bed for a lying-in-state. Prominent chiefs might have their effigy carved from wood and dressed in pure white cloth. These measures were taken only if the funeral were delayed the ruler’s corpse, however, was never shown in state. Instead, the monarch’s effigy was prepared as a more carefully carved standing figure dressed with actual beads and cloth (Fig. 398). It was accompanied by courtiers and protected by a parasol during the final day of the commemorative ceremonies.

Fig. 399. Family funerary pot (abusua kuruwa). Asante male or female artist, Ghana, early 20th century. © Trustees of the British Museum, Af1917,1103.11. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Most of the Akan peoples of southern Ghana and southeastern Côte d’Ivoire (including the Fante, Kwahu, some Asante and others) prepared terracotta pots (often with figurative elements) for funerals until the first half of the 20th century. These vessels–blackened or painted with red, white, and black stripes–held the hair from the family members’ shaved heads, evidence of mourning and cohesiveness others held specially prepared foods to be shared with the deceased. The objects were left at the family’s “place of pots” (asensie) outside the community, not placed on the grave, with the following prayer:

Here is food.
Here are (hairs from) our heads.
Accept them and go and keep them for us (Rattray, 1927: 165).

Simple shapes were used by ordinary people, while the elite often had pots with relief elements that referred to proverbs or symbolic animals (Fig. 399). Frogs seem to have been a reference to the earth, the resting place of the deceased pythons, whose colorful patterns are frequently associated with the rainbow, are alluded to in the proverb, “death’s rainbow encircles everyone’s neck.”

Fig. 400. These memorial terracottas come in a variety of styles, dependent on region. All have the lined neck that signifies an attractive feature in the region. Left to right. Upper Left: Queen Mother funerary terracotta head. Akan female or male artist (Adansi or Asante), Ghana, 18th century. H 15″. Detroit Institute of Art, 2006.148. Museum purchase Ernest and Rosemarie Kanzler Foundation Fund. Public domain. Upper Middle: Funerary royal terracotta portrait head. Akan female or male artist, Ghana, late 19th or early 20th century. H 12″. Brooklyn Museum, 72.49.4. Gift of David R. Markin. Creative Commons CC-BY 3.0 US. Upper Right: Royal funerary terracotta head. Akan female or male artist, Ghana, 16th–18th century. H 12″. Yale Art Gallery, 2010.6.166. Gift of SusAnna and Joel B. Grae. Public domain. Lower row, left to right. Lower Left: Royal terracotta funerary head. Akan female or male artist, Ghana, before 1931. H 6.69″. © Trustees of the British Museum, Af1931,1118.51. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Lower Middle: Terracotta head originally attached to a body. Anyi female or male artist, Côte d’Ivoire, 18th-19th century. 6 1/8″. Brooklyn Museum, 69.56. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Abbott A. Lippman. Creative Commons CC-BY 3.0 US. Lower Right: Royal funerary terracotta head. Asante female or male artist, Fomena, Ghana, 19th century. H 10.63″. © Trustees of the British Museum, Af1933 1202.1. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Fig. 401. “Place of the pots” with both pots and terracotta figurative sculpture. Akan female or male artists from the Lagoons community of Assinie-Mafia, Côte d’Ivoire, 19th century or earlier. Public domain.

Akan royals formerly also used terracotta funerary effigies that date back to at least the 17th century, centering on those Akan groups south of the Asante. Both male and female artists constructed these heads (Fig. 400)–the most common form, ranging from a few inches high to life-size–or full figures. These abstracted portraits often included clues to gender and position through hairstyle, but were not usually individualized facially, other than through facial scarification marks. While some had flattened disc-shaped heads akin to those of the aku’aba figures (see Chapter 3.3), others were more naturalistically modeled.

With Christianization, the practice has sharply diminished, but the royal terracotta heads and figures might be carried on palanquins, displayed on thrones at funerals, and wrapped with kente cloth. They were usually accompanied by terracottas representing spouses, servants, and other family members these not only provided an entourage such as that which surrounded a living royal, but may have replaced sacrificed slaves and favored courtiers who, in centuries past, chose or were chosen to accompany the deceased to the afterworld. After completion of the ceremonies, these heads or figures also usually were taken to the asensie and left there (Fig. 401). Many of these terracotta-filled spots since have been raided by those supplying art objects to collectors.

Fig. 402. Reliquary guardian figure with cloth bundle and ancestral bones. Wood wrapped with flattened copper and brass wires, European buttons. Sangu male artist, Gabon, late 19th or early 20th century. Science Museum, London. Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0.

Most West and Central African groups have strong metaphysical attachments to the places their ancestors were buried, an event that usually accords them “ownership” of that area. Some ethnicities, however, are more recent immigrants to a region, having been pushed out of their homelands due to wars or other pressures. In Gabon, a number of ethnic groups are fairly recent

Fig. 403. Two bark box reliquaries bearing wooden guardian figures. Fang male artist, southern Cameroon or northern Gabon, late 19th century. Photo by Hans Gehnen in Johannes Abel’s “Das Südgebiet von der Monda-Bai bis zum Iwindo,” plate 5, fig. 20. This is the third part of Chapter Two of H. Marquardsen’s Die Grenzgebiete Kameruns im Süden und Osten. Mitteilungen aus den deutschen Schutzgebieten. Ergänzungsheft, No. 9a. Berlin: Ernst Sigfried Mittler und Sohn, 1914.

arrivals, having moved into their present territories in the 19th century from original settlements in Chad and the Central African Republic. When faced with migration, they created an ingenious solution–they disinterred the skulls and other bones of important ancestors and transported them to their new home, placing them in basketry, bark, or cloth containers watched over by a wooden or metal figure (Fig. 402). These reliquaries–the same word is used for medieval European containers that housed saints’ bones–thus are considered to have a guardian, for the figure does not represent the deceased. Missionaries and the French colonial government pressured the peoples involved to abandon the practice in the first decades of the 20th century. Although this is no longer a living tradition, the relevant art forms indeed live on–they are among some of the most faked objects in Africa, due to their appeal to collectors.

The Fang, who live in southern Cameroon and parts of Equatorial Guinea, as well as Gabon, honored both male and female ancestors with bark box reliquaries (byeri) topped either by heads in the center of their lids or by male or female figures perched on the lids’ edges (Fig. 403). Both had spike-like extensions that were inserted to keep them stable, but some of these were removed in Europe, for the container itself–the vital part of the ensemble

Fig. 404. Multiple guardian figures guard this reliquary, an uncommon though not unique occurrence, as is its unblackened surface. The male figure facing front still retains his feathered headdress and jewelry, usually stripped by early European collectors. Fang-Ngumba male artist, southern Cameroon, 19th. century. Collected by Georg Zenker, 19th century. H 44.09″. Photo by Jürgen Liepe. © Ethnologisches Museum der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, III C 6689 a-c. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA. Fig. 405. Seated reliquary guardian. Fang male artist, southern Cameroon or Gabon, 19th or early 20th century. H 18.25″. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 83.101.

for the Fang–was usually discarded by collectors, as were feathered headdresses and jewelry (Fig. 404). The figures are bulbously muscular, with thick necks, rounded limbs, and short legs (Fig. 405). Their abstract faces frequently

Fig. 406. Reliquary head. Fang male artist, Gabon, 19th or early 20th century. H 12.4″. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1942.1.3. Gift of Mme. Bluyssen.

including a heart-shaped depression, the mouth either a simple line on its lower edge or opened to show bared teeth (Fig. 406). The eyes were marked by brass disks that were originally kept polished. The ensembles were kept in dark areas of lineage leaders’ quarters and were sacrosanct–their gleaming eyes served as warnings to women and children to stay away. During initiation, newly-circumcised boys saw the exposed bones for the first time and watched a kind of puppet mime acted out by elders with the sculptures that had been temporarily removed from their sockets. Their curiosity about the forbidden once led new initiates or children told about the custom to create their own imitation byeri filled with monkey skulls, meant to bring luck. Actual ancestral reliquaries were a way of contacting these deceased family members and asking for their protection and blessings, consulting them on questions of importance, and discovering the causes of current problems.

Fig. 407. Reliquary guardian figure made from wood covered with sheet metal and flattened metal wire. Kota male artist, Gabon or Congo-Brazzaville, before 1919. Photo by Ferenc Schwetz. Collected by the missionary Gustaf Arvid Jacobsson. Stockholm Världskulturmuseet, 1919.03.0005. Creative Commons CC BY 2.5.

Offerings were periodically made to the ancestors, their bones repainted red, with palm or resinous oil applied to wooden figures and heads that had originally been blackened with charcoal, oil from the seed of the tree Ongokea gor, and copal resin. Some of these sculptures appear to sweat, their surface having a sticky appearance.

Fig. 408. One side of a Janus-faced reliquary guardian, made from wood with brass and copper sheet metal added. Kota male artist, Gabon, 19th century. H 28.54″. Formerly in the collection of Paul Guillaume. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1941.13.1.

Other groups from Gabon similarly protected their reliquaries with even more abstract figures. Although these were first made from wood, their bodies were armored with flattened brass and copper wire and sheet metal, expensive and sheet metal, expensive materials that honored the ancestors. The examples made by the Kota people are among the best-known of these works (Fig. 407). These pieces (mbulu ngulu) were made with both convex and concave faces (apparently by artists operating in the same region) and some were Janus-faced. Both abstract and more naturalistic figures were created (Fig. 408). The neck connected to a lozenge shape which was partially hidden when inserted into the relic basket the upper part of the lozenge may have represented shoulders while the basket acted as “body.”

These ancestral reliquaries were stored in a communal shrine outside the community, meant to be accessed only by male initiates (Figs. 409 and 410).

Fig. 409. Reliquaries shown at the time of an offering and consultation. Kota male artists, Gabon, 19th century. Drawing by Riou based on documents of Jacques de Brazza. In Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza and Edouard Charton, ed. “Voyages dans l’Ouest Africain.” Le Tour du Monde: Nouveau journal des voyages 54 (No. 1402, 1887): 329. Public domain.

Fig. 410. Reliquary guardians removed from their baskets and carried. Kota male artists, Gabon, 19th or early 20th century. Photo by G. Jacobsson. “På undersökningsresa.” Missionsförbundet / Illustrerad Tidning för Svenska Missionsförbundets 36 (No. 9, May 1, 1918): 137. Public domain.

Urther Readings

Cole, Herbert M. and Doran H. Ross. The Arts of Ghana. Los Angeles: UCLA Museum of Cultural History, 1977.

Kaehr, Roland, Louis Perrois, Marc Ghysels and Rachel Pearlman. “A Masterwork That Sheds Tears… and Light: A Complementary Study of a Fang Ancestral Head.” African Arts 40 (4, 2007): 44-57.

Lagamma, Alisa, ed. Eternal Ancestors: The Art of the Central African Reliquary. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007.

Martinez, Jessica Levin. “Ephemeral Fang reliquaries.” African Arts 43 (1, 2010): 28-43.

Perrois, Louis, ed. Esprit de la forêt: terres du Gabon. Bordeaux: Musée d’Aquitaine/Paris: Somogy, 1997.

Rattray, R.S. Religion and Art in Ashanti. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1927.

Tessmann, Günter. “Die Kinderspiele der Pangwe.” Baessler-Archiv 2 (1912): 250-280.

Demanding Twins of the Yoruba of Nigeria and Benin Republic

Fig. 411. Male ere ibeji. Yoruba male artist, Oyo, Nigeria, late 19th or 20th century. H 11.42″. Afrika Museum Berg en Dal, AM-259-13. From the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (CSSp.). Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0. Fig. 412. Female ibeji figure with rounded stomach. Yoruba male artist, Igbomina region, Nigeria, 20th century. H 95/8″. Cleveland State University African Art Collection, 83.1.4. Gift of Dr. Jeffrey S. and Deborah Hammer.

Twins strain their mother’s biological system, and are usually born prematurely, placing their own survival at risk. While Western hospitals and incubators have vastly improved their odds of successfully evading infant death, that jeopardy remained strong throughout much of the 20th century. This was a particular problem for the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria and the Benin Republic, for not only do they have the

highest fraternal twinning rate in the world, their value for twins extends beyond affection to the supernatural blessings and maledictions twins are able to exert. In many parts of West Africa, twins are valued and considered to have a spiritual dimension unshared by other children. The Yoruba associate them with the ability to bring wealth and other blessings to the family if they are satisfied, and to visit misfortune upon family members if they are not. For living twins, this often means twins receive little treats to keep them content, and are cajoled more than their siblings when upset. However, efforts to keep twins happy are not restricted to living twins, for their powers do not diminish in the afterlife. If Taiwo (the first-born, but considered the junior child, sent by its twin to test the world’s sweetness) and/or Kehinde (the second, but senior, twin) die, their mother will seek a diviner’s advice as to what steps she should take next (see Chapter 3.6). This often led to the prescription of a carved

Fig. 413. This well-loved male ibeji figure’s facial features were worn away by care in washing his face and rugging it. Traces of laundry blueing color his conical hairstyle. Yoruba male artist, Nigeria, first quarter 20th century. H 11.5″. Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2015.62.3. Gift of Raymond A. and Ruth A. Reister. Public domain.

wooden statue (ere ibeji) to stand in for the deceased twin or twins (Fig. 411).

Fig. 414. Male ibeji figure wearing an Islamic protective charm at the neck. Yoruba male artist, Oyo, Nigeria, first half 20th century. H 10″. Cleveland State University African Art Collection, 83.1.1. Gift of Dr. Jeffrey S. and Deborah Hammer.

If one twin lives and wears metal or beaded ornaments that link it to the family deity, its twin’s figure bears these adornments as well. If the mother feeds the living baby, she lightly smears food on the lips of the ibeji figure. When she bathes the living twin, she bathes the statue, and afterward applying oil to both. In the past, red camwood powder was applied to keep babies dry, and many ibeji figures show its presence in unhandled crevices (Fig. 412). When the baby is put to bed, the figure is placed in a horizontal position. When the mother backs the living twin, the figure is tucked into the front of the carrier cloth. Constant handling may erode the carvings’ crisp details well-loved twin figures begin to lose their facial features (Fig. 413).

Ibeji figures constitute the largest body of Yoruba art. While not as common as they once were, they are still made and used, especially in rural areas. Non-traditional religions have gradually altered ibeji practices Muslim Yoruba used to freely have ibeji carved, the figures including triangular Islamic amulets at the neck (Fig. 414). Today, in cities where Islam or Christianity

Fig. 415. Female ibeji figure with close-cropped hair. Yoruba male artist, Benin Republic, 20th century. H 11.02″. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1960.109.3.

dominate social life, traditional objects are sometimes seen as countrified. Some mothers now substitute plastic dolls for carved wood, or have a living twin photographed and duplicated in a single print so that some surreptitious care can still take place.

Fig. 416. Ibeji male figure with tall cap colored by laundry blueing. Ogunwuyi of Ore compound, Oke Ede quarter of Ila Orangun, Igbomina Yoruba region, Nigeria, 20th century. H 11 5/8″ tall. Cleveland State University African Art Collection, 83.1.2. Gift of Jeffrey S. and Deborah Hammer.

These practices continue as long as the deceased twin or twins deem it necessary they communicate their wishes through the diviner and may be satisfied within a few years of care–or continue to insist on

loving treatment even after the mother dies, passing the obligation to another family member. Once twins accept an honorable retirement, their depictions may be kept at home or taken to a shrine for the deity Shango, the father of twins (see Chapter 4.1).

Ibeji figures are fairly small and depict standing figures on a base, their arms at their sides (Figs. 415). Frontal, the head dominates their proportions, which is stylistically consistent with other Yoruba art. Similarly, the eyes are large within the face, the pupil sometimes marked with a nail or drilled hole. The lips normally are carved as two rectangles or curving rectangles that do not meet at the corner. Facial marks of the specific community are clearly marked on the cheeks, and the hair–often

Fig. 417. Male ibeji figure with carved loincloth. Yoruba, Abeokuta, Nigeria, 20th century. H 9.84″. © Trustees of the British Museum, Af1969,20.2. Donated by Mrs. G. Lloyd-Davis. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0. Fig. 418. Male ibeji figure. Yoruba male artist, Oyo, Nigeria, 20th century. H 13.39″. Afrika Museum Berg en Dal, AM-77-13 . From Congregatie van de Heilige Geest (CSSp.). Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0.

Fig. 419. Royal twin with indigo-stained hair dressed in a beaded garment. Yoruba, Nigeria, 20th century. H 12.99″. Afrika Museum Berg en Dal AM-472-10. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0.

dressed in a high conical form that alludes to the inner head, site of destiny, is darkened with indigo or the brighter blue of imported laundry blueing (Fig. 416). An occasional figure will wear a carved loincloth (Fig. 417), but normally ibeji are depicted nude, although they sometimes are covered with actual cloth. Their nudity clearly shows that these are adult figures: the male has fully formed genitals, the female has breasts. Yet ibeji are never carved for adult twins who die–they are made strictly for infants or small children. Their adult appearance is an inverted example of ephebism–the child is shown as a full adult, an exercise in idealism, represented as the adults they never became.

Honoring ibeji with garments pleases them because it enhances their status. Tunics with rows of sewn-on cowrie shells (Fig. 418), the old currency, are a sign of wealth. Some twins wear beaded garments and caps (Fig. 419), a sign they are royal family members, for only the monarch and those he favors can wear beaded attire.

Further Reading

Bordogna, Charles. “Ibeji surface analysis.” In Leonard Kahan, ed. Surfaces: color, substances, and ritual applications on African sculpture, pp. 262-271. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.

Claessens, Bruno. Ere ibeji: Dos and Bertie Winkel collection. Delft, Netherlands: Elmar, 2013.

Drewal, Henry J., John Pemberton III with Rowland Abiodun. Yoruba: Nine Centuries of Art and Thought. New York: Center for African Art, 1989.

Houlberg, Marilyn. “Ibeji Images of the Yoruba.” African Arts 7 (1, 1973): 20-27, 91-92.

Joubert, Hélène. Ibeji: divins jumeaux = divine twins. Paris: Somogy, 2016.

LaGamma, Alisa. “Yoruba Dualities.” In Echoing images: couples in African sculpture, pp. 23-27. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004.

Oruene, Taiwo. “Magical Powers of Twins in the Socio-Religious Beliefs of the Yoruba.” Folklore 96 (2, 1985): 208-216.

Pemberton III, John, John Picton and Lamidi O. Fakeye. Ibeji: The Cult of Yoruba Twins. Milan: 5 Continents, 2003.

Sprague, Steven. “Yoruba Photography: How the Yoruba See Themselves.” African Arts 12 (1, 1978,): 52-59, 107.

Thompson, Robert Farris. “Sons of Thunder: twin images among the Oyo and other Yoruba groups.” African Arts 4 (3, 1971): 8-13, 77-80.

Funerary Masquerades and Ancestors of the Dogon of Mali

Masquerades are essential to the funerary rites of some of the Dogon of Mali–eligible adult men. The Dogon live in small communities where all residents know each other and death impacts everyone in a personal, interconnected way. Death produces amorphous, dangerous energy that ca n

Fig. 420. This Tellem structure is close to the cliff face, while corpses were deposited further into the cave’s interior. Bandiagara Escarpment of Mali. Photo Geri Follow, 2007. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0.

harm the living and their crops. Bodies are not buried within the community, but wrapped in a blanket and transported to ancient caves in the cliff face of the steep Bandiagara Escarpment. These caves were earlier

used by the Tellem, “little people” who lived in the region from the 11th-16th centuries, their presence

Fig. 421. Mortuary blankets hang from the roof of a deceased Dogon man from the Malian village of Temde in 2014. Masqueraders perform below, their forms and coloration differing from those in some of the more-photographed Dogon villages. The mask at left, for example, has a kanaga-style form, but it topped with two figures and painted in spots, features atypical of other areas. Single frame from Huib Blom’s video “Dogon country: funeral at Temde 2014 by Serou Dolo.”

overlapping with the arrival of the migrating Dogon for about a century. The Tellem apparently lived at the foot of the escarpment, but stored their grain up on the cliff face. They used old granaries (Fig. 420) or the caves as a depository for cloth-wrapped corpses and their personal goods such as headdrests, clothing, tools, and kitchen goods, as well as ritual pottery, sealing these off afterward. Centuries of use in some caves yielded skeletal remains of up to 3000 people. The Dogon similarly use the caves for their unburied dead, hoisting them with ropes up the nearly vertical cliff.

Fig. 422. Pieces of a now broken Great Mask, carved by a Dogon male artist from the Sanga region. It had entered France by 1931, its original length nearly 33.5′ long, with a weight of nearly 84 pounds. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1931.74.2002. Misson
Dakar-Djibouti.

Not all Dogon avail themselves of traditional funerary rites, for many converted to Christianity or Islam in the later decades of the 20th century, and follow the burial traditions of those faiths. For those men who still celebrate a traditional path, however, the actual death is not marked with great ceremony, except for particularly venerable people (Fig. 421). In decades past, the huge Great Mask (Fig. 422)–carried but never worn–was removed from its hiding niche in the cliff and leaned against the house of the deceased. A performer then danced with it, holding it in his hands. This practice, however, seems to be defunct in most villages. The Great Mask itself represents a mystical snake once, the Dogon say, humans did not die, but transformed into snakes when they reached an advanced age. One elder was interrupted during the process, however, and, startled, spoke–a forbidden act during transformation. Thus death came to the Dogon. The Great Mask (and, subsequently, all other masks) commemorated the event and acted as a sort of lightning rod to gather any negative energy surrounding death, taking it away from the community. The Great Mask also provided a sense of historicity a new one is carved every 60

Fig. 423. This sirige mask was carved by a Dogon male artist from Sanga village before 1930. It is just over 17′ high. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1930.31.21. Mission Henri Labouret.

years when the sigi festival takes place, marking a change of generations. Old and new Great Masks are kept in a cliffside sanctuary.

Even when the Great Mask remains in its sanctuary, the funerals of notables are marked. The blanket that transported their body to the cliffs is placed near a broken calabash and the deceased’s personal implements, becoming the focal point of a one-day ceremony that brings masked performers into the village. Few individuals enjoy this immediate ceremony. Most deaths share a joint funeral called dama, which is only held every few years for about six days–a collective practice that differentiates Dogon traditional funerals from those of most African groups. The dama celebrates all those who have died since the last dama took place, and shares thus sharing expenses among several families. It is meant to escort the spirits of the dead from the village–partially accomplished through mock battles and rifle fire that suggest the spirits are not eager for the transition. Masqueraders are instrumental in this process, for they accompany the spirits to the other world, dancing on the roofs of those who have lost a relative–mortuary cloths are hung from those roofs–then moving into the village plaza and eventually dancing out of the community’s sight with their invisible companions, now translated into full ancestors.

Perhaps only men are honored by masqueraders because all circumcised, initiated men typically belonged to the awa masquerade society that existed in each village. The awa owns and performs the masquerades. The types any village owns vary, but certain popular ones consistently appear out of the 78 different masquerade types that were recorded in the 1930s. Some are non-objective, while others have human or animal appearances. The number that appear at any given dama vary according to the importance of those who have died, the degree to which Islam or Christianity have displaced traditional religion, and the relative wealth of the inhabitants. Women, concerned with becoming barren, watch the male dama from rooftops or promontories at a safe distance. There are dama for deceased females as well, but they occur without masquerades.

One tall, plank-like mask called sirige (Fig. 423)–which is made from one piece of wood–only appears at the immediate funeral and dama celebrating a man who participated in the sigi rite, an event involving the awa society that only occurs every 60 years. It is the tallest of the masks, made from one tree, and dancing with it requires great dexterity and strength, since the performer touches its tip to the ground in a gesture of respect to the deceased, then must right it again, making circular movements. Although it is attached to the back of his head, he also bites down on a stick within the mask to aid control. Sirige‘s meaning varies

Fig. 424. This wooden kanaga mask, carved by a male Dogon sculptor from Mali, dates from the 1920s. H 34″. Detroit Institute of Art, 2003.202. Gift of Catherine Carter Blackwell. Public domain.

according to the Western scholars who researched it–or according to the Dogon villagers who interpreted it for them. For the French school of scholars, who depended on a specific Dogon man from the Sanga region for most of their information, the mask’s stacked layers represent multitudes of stars–of galaxies–ad infinitum, as well as journeys between the heavens and earth. At the same time, the same individual stated the repeated divisions represent the multi-storied ginna houses that mark each lineage, and some scholar’s interpretations are more likely to limit its meaning to a lineage’s many generations. Structurally it bears some resemblance to the Great Mask, as well as to masks worn by some of the Mossi of Burkina Faso, who belong to the same Gur language group, and may share a common (if distant) origin.

The most numerous mask type at a typical dama is that of the kanaga (Fig. 424), whose performers dramatically sweep their headpiece against the ground as they dance in unison. It is atypical of most African masks in that it is made from more than one piece of wood. While the face covering and vertical strip constitute a single carving, the crossbars are carved separately and attached, as are their short “arms” and “legs”, which are sewn onto the main structure. At least in the well-studied Sanga region, these are typically painted black and white. While the mask’s superstructure resembles the abstract arrangement of lizard or crocodile legs common in West African depictions, French researchers were first told it represented a black and white bird, then that it represented the Supreme Deity Amma, the upper bar simultaneously his arms and an allusion to the sky, while the lower bar dually was the earth and Amma’s legs. Each Dogon mask has a myth of origin and similarly probably has several interpretations, based on the levels of knowledge that are developed from entry into the masquerade society to elderhood within it. Variations in meaning and execution from one village or region to another are also probable.

Some young Dogon men who belong to the awa society dress in costumes and masks that transform them into the nomadic Fulani women that traverse the region with their cattle and family. Others wear masks that represent other human characters, such as hunters, members of additional ethnic groups and more. One of the most significant is the mask called satimbe, which bears a female figure as its superstructure (see Fig. 425) and is the only wooden mask that includes a female depiction. She represents both a particular woman from the distant past and a set of contemporary women born during the sigi celebration who are distinguished by being called the “sisters of the mask”. They are the only women to red fiber costumes in post-death preparations, have masks danced at their brief funeral, and later have masqueraders appear at their dama. The commemorated woman on the mask, Yasagine, was the first Dogon woman to see masking, then performed by another ethnic group. She stole the secret of masquerading from them, and created red fiber costumes for herself and fellow women performers, but was later tricked out of the secret by the males of her community. Her representations range from older, very geometric works to more naturalistic versions.

Fig. 425. These four satimbe masks, all made by Dogon male artists in Mali, show a stylistic range that includes both fairly naturalistic and geometric representations of a singular woman. Upper left: Mask from Sanga region. Photo by BluesyPete — Travail personnel, 2007. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 . Upper right: Sanga, before 1931. H 54.33″. Musee du Quai Branly, 71.1931.74.1948. Mission Dakar-Djibouti. Lower Right: Late 19th or early 20th century. H 44″. Brooklyn Museum, 77.246.1. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Milton F. Rosenthal. Creative Commons-BY. Lower left: Sanga region. H 44.49″. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1935.60.369. Mission Marcel Griaule.

Animal masks abound: hares (Fig. 426), antelopes (Fig. 427), monkeys of various types, birds, lions, hyenas, baboons, and more. Most have similar sections that cover the dancer’s face, geometric constructions with deep channels marking the eye sockets, the eyes themselves carved through as rectangles or triangles. Like most Dogon maskers, the performers wear fiber skirts and attachments, the sides and backs of their heads concealed by a striped fabric hood. Animal mask origin myths refer to the ways hunters tried to placate the spirits of the animals they had killed, and the dancers often mime their movements and attempts to escape. The walu antelope dancer lowers his horns and charges other maskers, then limps and falls as if shot, while the hare performers hide from the hunter and collapse at the end of their performance. At the same, French researchers suggest, these animals are part of the cosmic mythology relating to creation’s beginnings, the antelope tasked with guarding the sun’s path, while the hare was one of three animals (each symbolizing the peoples of three geographic subregions with ritual alliances) who ate an early impure grain harvest.

Fig. 427. This walu mask depicts an antelope, and was carved by a Dogon male artist before 1931, and was used by Dogon dancers performing at the 1935 Paris colonial exposition. H. 22.05″. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1931.49.26. Gift of Georges Henri Rivière. Fig. 426. This dyommo mask represents a hare, and was carved by a Dogon male artist. A tiny hare’s head atop the face portion makes the ears shift so they become enormous. It was worn during the 1935 Paris colonial exposition. H 21.26″. Musée du Quai Branly, 71.1931.49.28. Gift of Georges Henri Rivière.

Dama performed in the 1930s varied in number from 74 to several hundred masqueraders per

Fig. 428. This ginna, or lineage head’s house, is marked by distinctive niches on its facade. Not all ginna, however, have this architectural trait. Photo by John Spooner, 2002. Creative Commons CC BY 2.0.

village, but numbers had decreased by the 1980s, where villages might have four to seven masked dancers. Some communities, such as the Muslim community of Songo, last held a dama in the late 1950s. Those masquerade appearances persisting today, however, do not occur wholly as periodic efforts to send the deceased to an ancestral afterlife. Limited but growing adventure tourism has brought outsiders into the previously remote Dogon regions, and abbreviated dama-like displays are now paid theatrical performances, with a significant number of dancers in fresh costumes providing photo opportunities.

Once a non-theatrical dama transforms the dead into ancestors, they join their predecessors to receive sacrifices at altars in the ginna, the home of the lineage head (Fig. 428). There they are represented by a pot, and sacrificed to in the hope that they will assist their living descendants, particularly to ensure a good harvest. Figurative sculpture can also be kept at these altars.

Additional Readings

Bedaux, R. M. A. “Tellem and Dogon Material Culture.” African Arts 21 (4, 1988): 38-45 91.

van Beek, Walter E. A., R. M. A. Bedaux, Suzanne Preston Blier, Jacky Bouju, Peter Ian Crawford, Mary Douglas, Paul Lane and Claude Meillassoux. “Dogon Restudied: A Field Evaluation of the Work of Marcel Griaule [and Comments and Replies].” Current Anthropology 32 (2, 1991): 139-167.

Davis, Shawn R. “Dogon Funerals.” African Arts 35 (2, 2002): 66-77 92.

Ezra, Kate. Art of the Dogon. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988.

Griaule, Marcel. Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas. New York: Oxford University Press, 1965.

Griaule, Marcel. Masques dogons. Paris: Institut d’Ethnologie, 1938.

Imperato, Pacal James. “Contemporary Adapted Dances of the Dogon.” African Arts 5 (1, 1971):. 28-3368-72 84.

Imperato, Pascal James. Dogon Cliff Dwellers. New York: L. Kahan Gallery, 1978.

Lane, Paul J. “Tourism and Social Change among the Dogon.” African Arts 21 (4, 1988): 66-69 92.

Richards, Polly. “Masques Dogons in a Changing World.” African Arts 38 (4, 2005): 46-53 93.

Egungun Ancestral Masquerades of the Yoruba of Nigeria and Benin Republic

Fig. 429. A group of egungun in Imota, a town in Lagos State. Yoruba male tailors, Nigeria, 2005. Photo by Roger Blench. Fig. 430. Egungun covered with empowering medicines. Yoruba male tailor, Nigeria, 2016. Single frame from Ojopagogo TV’s “Egungun Festival,” 2016.

If the Dogon have masquerades performed to escort the ancestors to the other world, Yoruba egungun masquerades bring the ancestors back to this world.

Young men of a lineage don costumes and allow the ancestors to take them over, incarnating them in a concrete form so they can dance with their families, listen to their pleas, and offer their blessings. Family egungun appear at family funerals, but the egungun from the entire town participate in an annual festival, an opportunity to show family solidarity and compete with a show of splendor, expensive cloth, and vigorous dancing. They also appear when an important visitor comes to town, or for community project launchings.

Although the Yoruba, one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, have many masquerade varieties, egungun is the only universal type–it can be found throughout Yorubaland, albeit in differing visual guises (Fig. 429). Nonetheless, its origin is agreed to have been the kingdom of Oyo, to the north of Yoruba territory, There the 19th-century Yoruba historian and missionary Samuel Johnson, himself from Oyo, stated the tradition had been adopted from the Nupe, their neighbors to the north. While the Nupe have cloth masquerades, they do not represent ancestors. Rather, they are witchfinders, as the most important of the royal egungun in Oyo still are. Witchfinding egungun lack the luxury ingredients and colorful juxtapositions of other masqueraders instead, they tend to be loaded with medicine (Fig. 430) and speak to power rather than aesthetics.

Fig. 431. Giant “snake” performance, like that viewed by Clapperton. Yoruba male tailor, Isara Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria, 2015. Single frame from KennyJoker TV’s “Masqurade [sic] (egungun) Dance Part 2- Afotamodi Day ISAA 2015.”

At some point, ancestral incarnations became the focus of the performance and the masquerade spread to other kingdoms through war, trade, or the desire to emulate Oyo’s power and wealth. While we don’t know when this happened, British traveler Hugh Clapperton visited Oyo nearly 200 years ago in 1826 and saw a performance for the monarch that involved a multitude of ancestral egungun , “dressed in large sacks ,

Fig. 432. Male dancer with sewn cloth face performing as a female. Yoruba male tailor, Isara Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria, 2015. Single frame from KennyJoker TV’s “Masqurade [sic] (egungun) Dance Part 2- Afotamodi Day ISAA 2015.”

covering every part of the body the head most fantastically decorated with strips of rags, damask silk, and cotton, of as many glaring colours as it was possible.” He stressed the acrobatic nature of the dancing, and also observed a second aspect of the masquerade: the appearance of non-ancestral costumed entertainers known as idan egungun, or miracles. These side attractions are meant to both entertain spectators and impress them with the power of the ancestors. Clapperton viewed performers occupying a giant snake, having mysteriously exited other costumes he also viewed the performance of a European, who mimed taking snuff and walked around the performance area gingerly. Idan egungun today still include the snake (Fig. 431), as well as a variety of other performances, including dancing mats, Europeans kissing, dancers dressed as women (Fig. 432), or caricatures of non-Yoruba.

Fig. 433. This triple-headed egungun masquerade is an unusual example its significance is unknown. Yoruba male artist, Gbongbon, Oyo State, Nigeria, 20th century. W 24.5″. Cleveland State University African Art Collection, 84.1.1. Gift of Clayre and Jay Haft.

Only a few egungun have wooden masks (Fig. 433).

Fig. 434. Egungun hunter’s headdress, with animals and one human head arranged on the base. Yoruba, Nigeria, early to mid-20th century. H 12″. Yale Art Gallery, 2006.51.271. Gift of Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933. Public domain.

Most of these are associated with witchcraft or those representing deceased hunters. The latter usually show hunters with a hairstyle typical of their past–a loose transverse plait, often with medicinal calabashes tied along the hairline (Fig. 434). Others, from the city of Abeokuta, are more fanciful, depicting the hunter with extended hare-like ears, his forehead again covered with tiny calabashes full of medicines to protect him from animals and the potential spiritual attacks of the forest (Fig. 435). This masquerade headpiece type seems to have originated in the workshop of Oniyide Adugbologe (ca. 1875–1949). On these headdresses, the hunter usually bears a double-headed drum between his ears–the type played by praise singers who might have followed him during his lifetime, since hunters were culture heroes who supplied communities with meat. Behind the drum is a hare or other wild animal, a reminder of the hunter’s prey.

Fig. 435. Hunter’s egungun headpiece, with a detail of the hare crouching behind. Yoruba male sculptor, Abeokuta, Nigeria, first half 20th century. H 18.5″. Cleveland State University African Art Collection, 85.1.1. Fig. 436. Egungun with patchwork panel and colobus monkey fur. Yoruba male tailor, Nigeria, 1950s. Photo Wendy Kaveney. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 87.309.3. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0. Fig. 437. This egungun costume includes multiple textiles, as well as cowrie shells and beading on the face panel. Yoruba male tailor, Nigeria, 20th century. Penn State African Art Exhibit 006, 2008. Creative Commons CC BY-NC 2.0.

Most egungun, however, are made entirely from cloth, ranging from tight-fitting costumes that cover the head to sack-like configurations to large ensembles with layers of hanging flaps. Some are displays of conspicuous consumption, employing 20 or more yards of expensive fabric such as damask or velvet, dragging it through muddy or dusty streets to show disdain for the expense. Others are of more common fabrics, but often arranged in surprising color combinations or employing a patchwork section on the torso (Fig. 436), a juxtaposition never seen in everyday clothing. The cloth is often contributed by women–although male tailors created the costume–and includes hand-woven Yoruba fabrics as well as imported cotton prints, brocades, cotton laces, and velvets.

Fig. 438. Egungun with layers of cloth panels. Yoruba male tailor, Nigeria, 20th century. H 5.35′. Musee du Quai Branly, 73.1997.4.128.

A crocheted panel allows the performer to see out while keeping his identity concealed, which is critical–hands are either gloved or, like feet, enveloped in cloth the latter may also be shod. Cowries–indicative of wealth–or beads may further decorate the viewing panel (Fig. 437), and colobus monkey fur may be attached, since numerous legends attribute the first egungun to this primate, who was advised to create it by a diviner. The most imposing egungun (Fig. 438) are covered with lappets of cloth. Since new layers are added to keep their appearance fresh, they are veritable textile museums, each layer revealing older cloths. These can be box-like in structure, the cloth supported by a hidden tray-like headpiece (Fig. 439). Many of the lappets have sawtooth edging, its meaning ambiguous–although the pattern even appears on the hare-like ears of many of the wooden hunters’ egungun headpieces. Others are hung with metallic bits–sometimes reflective cut-outs, sometimes coins, occasionally Catholic saints’ medals, from a family who had been enslaved in Brazil, then returned to Nigeria after emancipation and incorporated egungun and their adopted religion. The ability to “shine” in performances–which take place in daylight–is shared by many of these masquerades, whether through metal additions, the sequins that characterize egungun from Benin Republic (Fig. 440), or varied types of high-contrast juxtapositions of color (Fig. 441).

Fig. 439. Upper left: Egungun costume. Yoruba male tailor, Nigeria, made between 1930-1970. Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1992.68. Costume Fund. Public domain. Upper right: Egungun costume. Yoruba male tailor, Oyo region, Nigeria, 20th century. H 5.83′. Birmingham Museum of Art, 1990.174. Gift of Sol and Josephine Levitt. http://artsbma.org Lower left: Egungun costume. Yoruba male tailor, Nigeria, made between 1930-1950. H 5.625′. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2011.31. The Simmons Family Endowment for Textiles and gift of funds from Jim Harris. Public domain. Lower right: Egungun costume. Yoruba male tailor, Nigeria, 20th century. H 5.25′. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 92.133. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Hammer © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.

Fig. 440. This egungun is typical of the Yoruba male tailors of Benin Republic in its use of sequins, applique figures, and seriate patterning. 20th century. Velvet, leather, cotton,sequins, beads, metallic threads, and cowrie shells are all components. H 5.67′. Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1992.67. Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Public domain. Fig. 441. This egungun costume is mostly constructed from odd lengths of high-contrast colored cloth, but the headpiece consists of sequinned lappets. Yoruba male tailor, Porto Novo, Benin Republic, 21st century. Photo by Linda De Volder, 2017. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Another key aspect many egungun share is their transformative nature. Sack-like costumes are manipulated into different shapes (Fig. 442), while cape-like additions may be removed and twirled

Fig. 442. Transformation of shape can take place when egungun dance or pose. Yoruba male tailor, royal palace, Ouidah, Benin Republic. Photo by Linda De Volder, 2017. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Fig. 443. An egungun manipulates his cape during performance. Yoruba male tailor, royal palace, Ouidah, Benin Republic. Photo by Linda De Volder, 2017. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

independently (Fig. 443), and some outfits are turned inside out and thus change color (Fig. 444), among other shifts. These are again evidence that the ancestors’ powers have grown to surpass any abilities they had when living. Their family members dance with them, praise them, and make requests or ask questions, demonstrating their belief that more than human agency is at work.

Fig. 444. This egungun performer’s costume can be inverted to reveal a pastel cotton check print or embroidered applique motifs. Yoruba male tailor, Ouidah royal palace, Benin Republic, 2017. Photo by Linda De Volder. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Right image cropped.


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This is a great way for collectors to acquire rare items that may not otherwise be made available, and an easy, quick and inexpensive option for some owners to re-sell items purchased at auction from Heritage.

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The owner of this item has set an amount that they are likely to accept. These items are included in our Buy Now search results, Wantlists and My Recommendations programs. This is a great way for owners to sell with the lowest hassle and cost.

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Vintage optical opera glasses

These items have been sold, and the description, image and price are for reference purposes only..

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An antique pair of mother-of-pearl opera glasses, 19th century, with mark of Buron, (Noel Buron), noted maker of microscopes, optical and scientific equipment, the folding glasses in brass and mother of pearl tiles, with finely beaded, and gadrooned bands&hellip
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Pair French Mother of Pearl encased opera glasses marked 'Paris Iris,' mother of pearl encased decoration.
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A pair of French brass and guilloche enamel opera glasses, circa 1900, with maker's mark of Jules Carpentier, the jumelle glasses with folding handle finely decorated with blue enamel, floral sprigs upon a pattern pink guilloche enamel ground&hellip
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A pair of antique French ivory and brass opera glasses, circa 1890, adjustable glasses with mark of 12 and Verres to the frame, housed in the original silk lined soft leather case, width 11 cm
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Landscape Romolo Leone Italy 20th Century

Farmhouse Between Trees, 1930s

Farmhouse Between Trees, 1930s

Work title: Casolare tra gli alberi

Technical specification: Oil on cardboard

Description:
Oil on cardboard. Signed on the lower right corner. Romolo Leone was a Neapolitan landscape painter whose main themes were farmhouses and crowded streets of cities in which he lived. He had been student of Giuseppe Casciaro whose artistic influence will be found in his entire prodution and also he was member of the Flegreo Group, movement that aimed to give value to Neapolitan painting all over Italy and abroad. The painting comes along with frame.

Product Condition:
Very good condition. Wear consistent with age and use. It may have been restored by an expert.

frame Size (cm):
Height: 45
Width: 61
Depth: 3

work dimensions (cm):
Height: 34
Width: 50

Additional Information

Pittura:
La pittura è l'arte che consiste nell'applicare dei pigmenti a un supporto come la carta, la tela, la seta, la ceramica, il legno, il vetro o un muro. Essendo i pigmenti essenzialmente solidi, è necessario utilizzare un legante, che li porti a uno stadio liquido, più fluido o più denso, e un collante, che permetta l'adesione duratura al supporto. Chi dipinge è detto pittore o pittrice. Il risultato è un'immagine che, a seconda delle intenzioni dell'autore, esprime la sua percezione del mondo o una libera associazione di forme o un qualsiasi altro significato, a seconda della sua creatività, del suo gusto estetico e di quello della società di cui fa parte.


In the first half of 20th century, how was gold inspected for authenticity? - History

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Jawa and Merapi, to Java and a Javanese volcano. The Kedukan Bukit, Kota Kapur, Canggal, Ligor (Chaiya) steles A and B, and Cambodian Sdok Kak Thom inscriptions, the Sundanese Carita Parahiyangan, Vietnamese annals, and several Chinese sources, are consulted for possible answers to some puzzling aspects of early Indonesian history, the roles of Sumatra, Java and the Peninsula, the reign of King Sanjaya, and accession to power of the Shailendras in Sri Vijaya.


Other items from this collection

Black and white photographs, C 1960s - 1970s

3290.1 is an aerial photograph of the township of Orbost looking south along Nicholson Street. The tennis courts and recreation reserve are on the left. The War Memorial, Commonwealth Hotel at the Saisbury Street intersection is in the centre of the photograph. 3290.2 is an aerial view of the Orbost township looking north, showing the bridge across the Snowy River in the foreground,

These photographs are detailed pictorial records of the Orbost township C 1960s - 1970s.

Two photographs which are aerial views of a township showing streets, buildings and vehicles. 3290.1 is a black / white photograph. 3290.2 is a coloured photograph.

Black and white photographs, 1960s - 1970s

3289.1 has been taken in the main street of Orbost - Nicholson Street. 3289.2 has been taken on the outskirts of Orbost and indicates that the town population at the time was 2800.

These photographs are pictorial record of Orbost C1960s - 1970s.

3289.1 is a black / white photograph of a main street with cars parked on both sides of the road and buildings on the left hand side. 3289.2 is a black / white photograph of town entry sign - "ORBOST POP. 2800".

orbost-nicholson-street main-street-orbost entry-sign-orbost orbost-1960s-1970s

Black and white photographs, C 1970s

3288.1 has been taken in Lawson Lane, Orbost, looking west from the rear of the Shire Offices. 3288.2 has been taken in Lawson Lane, Orbost, looking east from the rear of the Shire Offices.

These photographs are pictorial records of the Orbost township C 1970s.

Two black / white photographs showing cars parked on an unsealed road with buildings in the background.

Black and white photographs, C 1970s

3287.1 has been taken in front of the Orbost Swimming Pool. 3287.2 has been taken in Wolseley Street, Orbost and 3287.3 was photographed in Boundart Road, Orbost,

These photographs are pictorial records of incidents occurring in Orbost C1970s.

Three black / white photographs of tree damage in town streets. 3287.1 shows trees which been vandalised, 3287.2 and 3287 3 are photographs of storm trees which have been damaged.

Black and white photograph, November 1975

This photograph was taken inside St James Hall, Orbost at the 75th anniversary of the Orbost Municipal Band.on November 8, 1975. It was published in the Snowy River Mail on November 12, 1975 under the heading "ANNIVERSARY FOR BAND". "Some 250 people filled St James Hall on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the band, The evening began with a buffet dinner followed by a recital by the members of the band, The fitting numbers chosen were favourites throughout the different eras during the band's 75 years. A display of old brass instruments, photographs and a history of the band drew much comment. Bandmaster, Alf Barling, conducted the band during the celebratory recital." The first Orbost Brass Band was formed in 1889. Around 1908 the town band split and the Orbost Workers' Band was formed. Eventually the two bands merged in 1913 to reform as the Orbost Municipal Band under conductorship of Charles Spink. The band continued for many years but was later disbanded and again reformed. This was to happen a number of times, the last time being in 1961 and continuing through to the late 1970's. Further info and Ref: In Times Gone By - Deborah Hall

This is a pictorial record of the Orbost Municipal Band. The various Orbost bands over the years played a major role in community activities providing entertainment and musical experiences for the many members.

A black / white photograph of a bandmaster in uniform standing, conducting, in front of a group of musicians.sitting down playing their instruments. The photograph has been taken indoors.

music-orbost recreation orbost-municipal-band barling-alf entertainment

Black and white photograph, January 1974

This photograph was published in "The News" on Friday, January 11 1974. Those in the photograph are : L -R Stan Reed, Ted Smith, Alf Barling and Major General Sir Rohan Delacombe (Governor of Victoria). They are having morning tea with the State Governor when he visited Orbost.The accompanying article was titled "TEA WITH THE GOVERNOR". Councillor S. J. Reed was the Orbost Shire President, E.A.Smith was a Shire Councillor and Mr A. Barling was the Orbost Municipal Band Leader. The first Orbost Brass Band was formed in 1889. Around 1908 the town band split and the Orbost Workers' Band was formed. Eventually the two bands merged in 1913 to reform as the Orbost Municipal Band under conductorship of Charles Spink. The band continued for many years but was later disbanded and again reformed. This was to happen a number of times, the last time being in 1961 and continuing through to the late 1970's. Further info and Ref: In Times Gone By - Deborah Hall

This photograph is associated with the Orbost Municipal Band. The various Orbost bands over the years played a major role in community activities providing entertainment and musical experiences for the many members. Major General Sir Rohan Delacombe was the last British Governor of Victoria, Australia from 1963 to 1974.

A black / white photograph of four men standing facing the camera. They are dressed in suits and wearing ties. One man is dressed in a band uniform. Three are holding cups and saucers.

orbost-municipal-band barling-alf delacombe-rohan

Black and white photograph, October 4 1978

From the Snowy River Mail October 4 1978 page 9 - " A MOBILE BAND - Although Orbost Municipal Band participated in Saturday's Primary School workathon, members feet didn't touch the ground. They idi it bthe easywayon the trailer of a truck. The band encouraged walkers with stirring music along the road to Marlo." The first Orbost Brass Band was formed in 1889. Around 1908 the town band split and the Orbost Workers' Band was formed. Eventually the two bands merged in 1913 to reform as the Orbost Municipal Band under conductorship of Charles Spink. The band continued for many years but was later disbanded and again reformed. This was to happen a number of times, the last time being in 1961 and continuing through to the late 1970's. Further info and Ref: In Times Gone By - Deborah Hall

This is a pictorial record of the Orbost Municipal Band. The various Orbost bands over the years played a major role in community activities providing entertainment and musical experiences for the many members.

A black / white photograph showing a group of uniformed band members sitting on folding chair s on the tray of a large flat bed truck. They are holding musical instruments. A young boy is sitting on the edge of the tray and three other children are standing on the road nearby.

on back - information from S.R.M.

music orbost-municipal-band entertainment recreation

Black and white photograph, 1. 12. 1973

This photograph was published in the Snowy River Mail on November 27 1974. "Shoppers in Nicholson Street, Orbost, have been treated to band music each Saturday morning when members of Orbost Municipal Band have rendered items in the shopping centre. Members, both senior and junior, are pictured here as they prepare instruments for a recital on a sunny Saturday." The photograph was taken by Peter Fagg in Nicholson Street on the corner of Wolseley Street on Saturday morning 1.12.1973. The first Orbost Brass Band was formed in 1889. Around 1908 the town band split and the Orbost Workers' Band was formed. Eventually the two bands merged in 1913 to reform as the Orbost Municipal Band under conductorship of Charles Spink. The band continued for many years but was later disbanded and again reformed. This was to happen a number of times, the last time being in 1961 and continuing through to the late 1970's. Further info and Ref: In Times Gone By - Deborah Hall

This is a pictorial record of the Orbost Municipal Band. The various Orbost bands over the years played a major role in community activities providing entertainment and musical experiences for the many members.

A black / white photograph of a group,of uniformed band members sitting in a circle at the edge of a main street. Each is holding a musical instrument with music stands in front of them.

music-orbost orbost municipal band recreation entertainment

Black and white photograph, December 1973

This photograph of the Orbost Municipal Band was taken outside the Orbost Youth Centre in Nicholson Street, Orbost. Those in the photograph are: At Rear- Peter Fagg and Alan Miles Back Row - Jacqueline Solomon' Cryatal Barling, Julie West, Raymond Barling, Maddy Barr' Peter Rowley, Luigi Battel, Michelle Zuccolo, Helen Light Seated - Phillip Barling, Russell Jensen, Susan Wood, Alf Barling (Band Master), Edward Knight, Charles Soloman In Front - Mark Barling and Peter Knight The first Orbost Brass Band was formed in 1889. Around 1908 the town band split and the Orbost Workers' Band was formed. Eventually the two bands merged in 1913 to reform as the Orbost Municipal Band under conductorship of Charles Spink. The band continued for many years but was later disbanded and again reformed. This was to happen a number of times, the last time being in 1961 and continuing through to the late 1970's. Further info and Ref: In Times Gone By - Deborah Hall

This is a pictorial record of the Orbost Municipal Band. The various Orbost bands over the years played a major role in community activities providing entertainment and musical experiences for the many members.

A large black / photograph of a group of uniformed band members standing and seated in rows outside a building. All are holding musical instruments. There is a drum in the centre front row.

on back - label with list of names

music-orbost orbost-municipal-band entertainment recreation

Black and white photographs, 3281.1 : September 1987

3281.1 is a photograph of Terry Martin. "Terry Martin travelled to Melbourne to Melbourne to display his extensive collection of axes and to demonstrate the art of broadaxe cutting. The axe Terry is holding is over 200 years old and is believed to have been used by ship builders in their trade. Terry makes his own axe handles from district timber." (Snowy River Mail 23 September 1987) 3281.2 is of Erasmo Giove. who came to Australia with his wife, Mina. They eventually settled in Orbost where Erasmo worked as a sleeper cutter withn his wife working alongside him. The Gioves lived with their four children, Tina, Rocco, Benodino and Graziela, in Forest Road, Orbost,

These photographs are associated with the timber and sleeper-cutting industry in the Orbost Region. Timber sleepers were superceded by concrete sleepers in c. 1970s. Orbost has historically been based on the timber industry, but that industry has declined considerably over the last 20 years..The number of locals involved in the timber industry has declined and many of the mills have closed. This item reflects a time when that industry was a significant contributor to the economy of the district.

3281.1 is of a man standing holding a long handled axe. 3281.2 is of a man holding a cross cut saw and holding in the other hand a framed photograph of a swing saw.

woodcutting-tools axe saw-cross-cut saw-swing timber-orbost sleeper-cutting giove-erasmo martin-terry

Black and white photograph, April 1979

In this photograph are : L -R Margory Smith, Margaret Vincent, Michael Pardew, Rob Young and George Thomas. Orbost Apex Club donated $1,800 to the Orbost Continuing Care Appeal (now Lochiel House). The money had been raised at a successful New Year's Eve Ball. Margory Smith and Margaret Vincent, Acting President, were the O.C.C.A representatives. Michael Pardew was the co-ordinator of the New Year's Eve Ball, Rob Young was the Apex President and George Thomas was the Apex Social Director. Apex clubs were made up of volunteers who "raise awareness about social justice issues, assist the needy in a practical way and contribute resources to causes" (ref Apex website)

The Apex Club of Orbost was a volunteer service club which contributed to the Orbost community. A declining population has led to the demise of many social groups in the area.

A black / white photograph of two women and three men standing in front of a wall. The men are wearing wearing long - sleeved tops with a triangular shaped logo at the top left shoulder,

orbost-clubs apex-club-orbost service-club

Black and white photograph, late 19th - early 20th century

this is a photograph taken at the original jetty at Tabbara on the Brodribb River used by Samuel Richardson who established his mill in 1882. There was a constant demand for timber to supply the growing townships of Orbost , Marlo and surrounds. It was at this mill that the original paddle steamer Curlip was built. More information in "Curlip" by May Leatch. Helena Warrem (1871-1962) was a self-taught photographer who became both the local press correspondent and a producer of humorous trompe l'oeil postcard images. Helena Warren was a thirty-two year old settler living on a small mixed farm with her husband, William, at Newmerella, near Orbost in Gippsland, Victoria, when she bought her first camera, an Austral Box quarter-plate. Her family says she was entirely self-taught, like many women photographers who started out with nothing but the instructions on the packets of film and chemicals. In over fifty years practice she graduated from the total novice, who opened all her first mail order plates in bright sunlight and ruined them, to a competent photographer who became both the local press correspondent and an inveterate producer of humorous trompe l’oeil postcard images. Helena Francis Warren (nee McKeown) was married to William John Warren and lived in Newmerella. She supplied the photos for the Back-To-Orbost celebration book in 1937 and also designed the Back-To-Orbost badge. She was known for her soft toy making. (by Ivy Rodwell in from Personalities and Stories of the Early Orbost District by Mary Gilbert).

This photograph is a pictorial record of a typical family activity in the late 19th - early 20th century in the Orbost area, The clothing and manners are reflective of that time, This photograph also has significance in its association with Helen Frances Warren, a popular Orbost identity who was well known as an accomplished photographer and needleworker,

A black / white photograph of a family group seated on a wooden jetty. There is a man on the right with a fishing rod. A man is standing next to woman holding a teapot and cup and saucer. On the left a woman is sitting and holding a baby on her knee. The rest are sitting or kneeling with a picnic cloth spread in front of them. There are bottles, jars, plates and cups on the cloth.

on back - "The Warren Family Tabara Jetty"

tabbara-jetty warren-family-orbost recreation-picnic

Black and white photographs, 1984

These photographs were taken in the main street of Orbost looking south along Nicholson Street. Nicholson Street was remade in 1984 with new kerb alignments, the introduction of red brick paving and the planting of oak trees. This has since been changed.

These photographs are pictorial records of construction in the main street of Orbost.

Two black / white photographs of roadworks. 3278.1 is of two tip trucks on a newly sealed road. The commonwealth Bank is on the left and in the background is a sign to "COIN LAUNDRY'. 3278.2 is of three men at the edge of the road, backs to the camera.

3278.1 - on back - "Resealing of Nicholson Street, Orbost, 1984" 3278.2 - on back - "Peter Dreverman in middle"

orbost-nicholson-street construction-nicholson-street roadworks streetscape

Black and white photographs, second half 20th century

These photographs are pictorial records of the signs at the Orbost town entry points.

Three black / white photographs. 3277.1 is a sign on stone pillars at the top of a hill - "WELCOME TO SNOWY RIVER COUNTRY ORBOST TURN LEFT". 3277.2 shows a road leading into a town. There is a sign on the left - "ORBOST" and a service station on the right. 3277.3 shows a row of newly planted trees between a road and a school.

3277.1 on back - "WELCOME TO SNOWY RIVER COUNTRY - ORBOST sign - Princes Highway - Newmerella" 3277.2 on back - "East Gippsland Shire Sign on eastern approach to ORBOST., in Salisbury Street, near Orbost Secondary College" 3277.3 on back - "Tree planting in Salisbury St, Orbost in front of Orbost High School looking west towards Orbost township"

photographs-orbost orbost-township-entry salisbury-street-trees town-entry road-signs-orbost

Black and white photographs, March 10 1961

These photographs are pictorial record of Orbost in 1961.They enable us o observe the objects in their spatial context and in detail. They are useful for reference.

Four black / white aerial photographs. there are spare copies of each. 3276.1 is an aerial photograph of the Orbost Show with Lochiel Park in the foreground. 3276.2 is an aerial photograph taken over a township. 3276.3 shows the Orbost High School on the left. 3276,4 shows the high school in the foreground.

on the back of each is "March 10th 1961 Aerial of Orbost"

photographs-aerial-orbost-1961 orbost-1961 lochiel-park

Coloured photographs, 1948 1954 ?

These photographs were probably taken in the late 1940s - mid 1950s. 3275.1 was taken at the roundabout in Nicholson Street / Salisbury Street intersection looking south. On the right is the The Commonwealth Hotel and the Gippsland Northern Store can be seen on the right. The war memorial can be seen in the centre of the intersection. 3275.2 has been taken from a height (possibly from behind the hardware store) overlooking Orbost House in McLeod Street. The butter factory can be seen in the background. Back yard toilets and paling fences can be seen with a narrow lane for the sanitary truck. Mrs Ruth Hannah Macalister, 1861-1932, established “Orbost House” as a boarding house in about 1900. Following her demise “Orbost House” was taken over by her son, “Reg” and his wife and they continued the Macalister family‟s association until the accommodation house was purchased by “Slim” and Eileen Somerville and Lindsay and Joan Jensen, in partnership, in 1963. (info. from Marilyn Morgan)

These photographs are detailed pictorial records of Orbost in the mid 20th century. They show the objects in their spatial context with detail.

Two coloured photographs. 3275.1 is a streetscape with a large hotel on the right, a main shopping area in the background and a wooden fence on the left. 3275,2 is overlooking backyards and fences. In the middle is an extensive red roof with "ORBOST HOUSE" in white print.

orbost-1950s orbost-house commonwealth-hotel

Black and white photograph, C1990s

Included in this photograph are Phil Derby, John Zimmer, Peter Coulton and Rae Ash.

This photograph is of local musicians in the latter half of the 20th century.

A balck / white photograph of a band. On the right is a lady playing piano, at back is a man on drums, on left is man, seated, playing guitar and standing at front is a man playing a saxophone. There is a curtain behind them.

on back is a list of names

entertainment-orbost music-orbost zimmer-john derby-phil coulton-peter ash-rae

Black and white photograph, 1954

The Orbost Football Club began in 1894. This photograph shows the 1954 team. The Orbost football club players were known as the Busters and wore green and gold guernseys. An Orbost football team has participated in the East Gippsland League since the early 20th century. The East Gippsland Football League in its present incarnation began in 1974 with the merger of the Gippsland Football League and the Bairnsdale District Football League .In 2003 in response to a dwindling population, the Snowy Rovers and Orbost Football Clubs were driven to merge into the Orbost Snowy Rovers

Football clubs, through their many changes, have always been an important social fabric of the community. Sport is often regarded as an important part of life in rural Australia, contributing to community identity, sense of place, social interaction and good health.

A black / white photograph of three rows of men wearing sports uniforms (players) and seven men in suits (officials). The fornt row is seated on the ground, the middle row on seats and the back row is standing with arms folded. a man in front row left has a case / box with the club emblem facing the camera.

on back - a typed list of names and history of formation of League.

sport-football orbost-football-club recreation clubs-orbost

Calendar, Old Views of East Gippsland 2019, 2018

This calendar is pert of a series of calendars compiled by East Gippsland Historical Society.

This item is a useful pictorial reference tool.

A 2019stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of East Gippsland". On the pale orange coloured front is a black/white photograph of S.S, Gippsland on the Mitchell River, Eagle Point C 1920. IThe calendar contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of East Gippsland 2018, 2017

This is one a series of calendars compiled annually by East Gippsland Historical Society.

This is a useful pictorial reference tool.

A 2018stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of East Gippsland". On the purple coloured front is a black/white photograph of a punt on the Tambo River. It has a manual winding winch, three men on a small wharf, one man is fishing. It contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of East Gippsland 2017, 2016

This is one of a series of calendars compiled annually by East Gippsland Historical Society.

This is a useful pictorial reference tool.

A 2017 stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of East Gippsland". On the turquoise coloured front is a black/white photograph of Eagle Point, Mitchell River C 1875 with a family group, possibly Alfred Howitt and children, on the bank of the Mitchell River opposite Eagle Point Bluff.. It contains early photographs of East Gippsland,. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of Gippsland 2016, 2015

This item is one of a series of calendars compiled and published by East Gippsland Historical Society.

This item is a useful reference tool

A 2016 stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of Gippsland". On the light blue coloured front is a black/white photograph of Tongio Gap, Omeo, showing Mitchell's coach which ran from Bairnsdale to Omeo. The calendar contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of Gippsland 2015, 2014

This is one of a series of calendars compiled and published by east Gippsland Historical Society.

This is a useful reference tool.

A 2015 stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of Gippsland". On the pale green coloured front is a black/white photograph of a Bowling Club Opening Day 7 December 1901 in front of trees in botanical gardens in the background. The photograph is credited as from the Ron Yeats Collection. The calendar contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of Gippsland 2014, 2013

This is one of a series of calendars published annually by East Gippsland Historical Society.

This item is a useful reference tool.

A 2014 stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of Gippsland". On the blue coloured front is a black/white photograph of carriage horses being crossed through a lake entrance presumed to be Lake Tyers around the turn of the century C 1900 . It contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of Gippsland 2013, 2012

This item is one of a series published annually by East Gippsland Historical Society.

This item is a useful reference tool.

A 2013 stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of Gippsland". On the red coloured front is a black/white photograph of Bruthen - Omeo Royal Mail and Bus service run by Charles Mitchell of Bruthen, It contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of Gippsland 2012, 2011

This item is one of a series of calendars published annually by East Gippsland Historical Society.

This item is a useful reference tool.

A 2012 stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of Gippsland". On the light tan coloured front is a black/white photograph of Main Road Walhalla looking south towards the Star Hotel C / 1951. It contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging.The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of Gippsland 2011, 2010

This is one of a series of calendars published annually by East Gippsland Historical Society.

This item is a useful reference tool.

A 2011 stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of Gippsland". On the purple coloured front is a black/white photograph of The Blue Duck Hotel at Angler's Rest on the road to Glenn Wills C/1940. It contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Calendar, Old Views of Gippsland 2010, 2009

This calendar is one of a series published annually by East Gippsland Historical Society. It cost $10.

This item is a useful reference tool.

A 2010 stapled calendar, titled "Old Views of Gippsland". On the turquoise coloured front is a black/white photograph of the main street of Rosedale before the time of motor vehicles. It contains early photographs of East Gippsland, one for each month. There is a hole for hanging. The title is at the top and the year at the bottom in black print.

Book, Stories From Wairewa, 2017

This book is a social history collected orally and from the private records of residents of the Wairewa Valley, Victoria, Australia. It includes a brief history of the old primary school. Appended is a performance piece 'Waltz for Wairewa", a dialogue with poems and songs. It was sponsored by the Hospital Creek Bush Band and Dance Group. The book was partly the result of two song writing courses, one run on-line for six weeksby Sheffield University, U.K., and another year-long course at U3A in Lakes Entrance, East Gippsland. The bridge pictured on the front cover is O'Grady's railway bridge which was severely damaged in the bushfires of January 2020.

This item is a useful reference on the history of the Wairewa Valley, East Gippsland.

A soft covered book, titled "Stories From Wairewa". On the front cover is a tall wooden rail bridge. the book contains stories, photographs, scanned documents, shet music, drawings and poetry.

book-wairewa blakeman-elizabeth school-wairewa

Corset, C1940s

This item was worn by Sarah Archer, born 9.11.1881, and her daughter Irene Jean Maiden, born 1.7.1923, She lived in Orbost all her life having been born at the oOld Orbost Hospital in Nicholson Street. Irene died aged 86.

Until well into the 20th century, the corset was an essential element of fashionable dress. Corsets were worn by women (and much earlier by men) to enhance their figures and to hold their stockings in place. Although still sometimes used they were mainly used prior to the making of pantyhose approximately 1960.

A corset made of heavy apricot / pink cotton fabric . It has back tape acing through metal eyelets, and slide hooks. It has suspender straps with clips attached to the bottom of the corset. The stays, possibly whalebone, are sewn vertically into the fabric.

on label - in red ink - "Liberty Reg'd "6/2815 D" small below waist size 32" exact

costume-women corsetry clothing

The Victorian Collections website is developed in partnership by Museums Victoria and Australian Museums and Galleries Association Victoria (AMaGA Victoria). Funding for the program is provided by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

© Copyright 2019 Victorian Collections and content contributors

Victorian Collections acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.


In the first half of 20th century, how was gold inspected for authenticity? - History

Lot 606 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

First World War medals to include 1914 - 1915 Star awarded to 23289 Lance Corporal, T Thompson Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Victory medals awaded to . read more

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Lot 612 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Second Boer War medals awarded to 5639 Private R Tattersall Rifle Brigade comprising Queens South Africa medal and Kings South Africa medal. (2)

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Lot 613 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Medals to include an Efficiency medal awarded to 902034 Gunner W R Eden Royal Artillery and Imperial Service medal awarded to Edward Arthur . read more

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Lot 614 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Medals to include Second World War Defence medals and war medals a Korea medal the Army Rifles Association medal a runners up Omdurman Shield 2000 . read more

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Lot 619 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Badges and medals to include Newcastle Race Club Hexham Race Club Kentish Wheelers and others.

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Lot 623 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Coinage to include Victorian and later British coins Victorian and Edward VII one rupee coins mounted in dishes framed penny farthings . read more

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Lot 628 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A sapphire and diamond flowerhead ring on yellow metal shank stamped 18ct, ring size Q, 2.5grms gross.

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Lot 630 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

An opal and diamond cluster ring on yellow metal shank (hallmarked rubbed), ring size R, 2.9grms gross.

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Lot 636 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 9ct. yellow gold chain linked charm bracelet with 12 charms, some set with bloodstone and agate, 33.7grms gross.

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Lot 637 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 9ct. yellow gold gate linked bracelet with heart shaped clasp, 12.3grms.

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Lot 638 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 9ct. yellow gold wristwatch with white enamel roman numeral dial, 28.5grms gross.

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Lot 640 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 9ct. yellow gold chain link bracelet with heart shaped clasp, 27.2grms.

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Lot 641 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 9ct. yellow gold cable chain necklace, 23.1grms.

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Lot 646 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Two 9ct. yellow gold fine link chains, 7.1grms two yellow metal bracelets stamped 9k 7.3grms and a yellow metal necklace stamped Spain, 8grms.

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Lot 647 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A pair of 9ct. yellow gold earrings 9ct. yellow gold crucifix pendants and chains a yellow metal locket stamped 9ct and a pair of yellow metal . read more

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Lot 651 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

An amethyst and diamond crucifix pendant on 9ct. yellow gold mount and chain an amethyst and diamond pendant on 9ct. yellow gold shank and chain an . read more

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Lot 654 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 'lemon' citrine and white topaz pendant on 9ct. yellow gold mount and chain with certificate of authenticity, 4.9grms gross together with two . read more

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Lot 657 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

An amethyst cabouchon ring on yellow metal mount stamped 9k, ring size S together with a purple stone dress ring on yellow metal mount, stamped . read more

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Lot 659 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 9ct. yellow gold cased open faced pocket watch by J Hewitt, Coventry with white enamel Arabic dial, 93.8grms gross together with a gold plated . read more

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Lot 660 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A silver Pandora charm bracelet with 25 charms, 98.5grms/3.17ozs in Pandora box.

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Lot 661 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A silver Pandora charm bracelet with 21 charms, 93grms/3oz. gross.

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Lot 668 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Swarovski jewellery to include necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other items, some with original boxes (qty).

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Lot 669 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Nurse's badges to include: Nurses Training School RVI, Newcastle upon Tyne the Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom a silver Wittington . read more

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Lot 670 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A pair of 9ct. yellow gold earrings set with turquoise a pair of yellow metal earrings stamped 375 and a yellow metal brooch depicting flamingos . read more

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Lot 674 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Two cultured pearl necklaces by Mikimoto, in Mikimoto case. (2)

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Lot 681 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A set of six Elizabeth II silver teaspoons by Barker Brothers & Sons Ltd, Birmingham 1957, in fitted case an American sterling silver ice spoon by A . read more

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Lot 687 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A George III silver wine funnel by William Skeen, London 1777, 2.9oz.

Sold for £160 More details 1

Lot 694 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A set of six white metal teaspoons with blue enamel decoration to handles inscribed Calcutta, Madras, Agra, Bombay, Bangalor and India, stamped . read more

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Lot 695 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A set of six Scottish Provincial silver tablespoons, by Nathaniel Gillet, Aberdeen c.1800, in Old English pattern with engraved monogram ''J.C.S.'', . read more

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Lot 696A (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A George V silver and tortoiseshell jewellery box, by CRS, London 1919 together with another by William Comyns, London 1905 and a pot cover of . read more

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Lot 697 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

An Elizabeth II silver watering-can by Links of London, Edinburgh 2000, 3.2oz.

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Lot 700 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

An 18ct yellow gold wedding band ring size N, 3grms together with a yellow metal chain link necklace stamped 9k, 5.8grms. (2)

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Lot 704 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Costume jewellery to include necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings, brooches, a pair of Versace glasses and other items in a box.

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Lot 705 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

An Indian white metal mirror, with relief decoration.

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Lot 707 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Swarovski Tinkerbell and star crystal figurine.

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Lot 716 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A pair of binoculars a silver plated tankard silver plated and other metalware military badges and buttons and other items in a wooden box.

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Lot 718 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

''The Official Coin Collection in honour of H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother'', to include: 30 silver coins by the Crown Collections Limited, . read more

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Lot 723 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Five Victorian vaseline glass oil lampshades.

Sold for £620 More details 1

Lot 724 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Queen Victoria 1d Black (SG1) on cover, NE, with Red Maltese Cross Cancel, Red Sunderland date marked July 1840 and Black South Shields date marked . read more

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Lot 726 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A giltmetal jewellery casket with enamel portrait plaque together with a French enamel inkwell a silhouette printed portrait miniature and cast . read more

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Lot 731 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Darlington and area interest postcards, approximately 280 cards in an album.

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Lot 732 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

First Half 20th Century postcards from around the world, including artworks, holiday destinations mainly Britain and France, approximately 240 cards . read more

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Lot 733 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

North Eastern interest postcards, to include: Marske by the Sea, Cleveland, Redcar, approximately 300 cards in an album.

Sold for £280 More details 1

Lot 735 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

An album of early 20th Century postcards, including theatrical figures, Brighton and other towns, approximately 200 cards.

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Lot 741 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A percussion pistol with barrel above bayonet and wooden handle, by Collier, Ripon.

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Lot 742 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 19th Century Chinese carved tortoiseshell circular snuffbox, decorated with figures in a wooded landscape with pagodas, 7cms (2 3/4in.) diameter.

Sold for £520 More details 1

Lot 756 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Hardback books to include 20 leather bound books including Little Mr Bouncer by Cuthbert Bede 1873, with twelve other hard backed books including the . read more

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Lot 769 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Leather back hardback books of the Northern Institute of mining engineers transactions in 37 volumes 1852-1887.

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Lot 775 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Shell decorated items, to include: hand mirrors trinket boxes and an anchor decoration together with shell themed porcelain glassware and a . read more

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Lot 809 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Silver plated cutlery in boxes together with a mid century spice rack and a wooden box of cd's.

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Lot 815 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Three wooden chest of woodworking and pattern making tools.

Sold for £350 More details 1

Lot 817 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

C.M. Adamson: Humphrey Natural History Scraps More Especially About Birds, published Newcastle on Tyne 1879 Exhibition, first edition 1879, . read more

Sold for £140 More details 1

Lot 824 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Approximately fifteen Viz Comics together with Toby Twirl Tales Andy Capp and The New Rupert Book.

Sold for £300 More details 1

Lot 825 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Annuals of Sporting: A Magazine Entirely Appointed to The Field Amusements, published by Sherwood & Co., Paternoster Row, comprising: nine vols. . read more

Sold for £110 More details 1

Lot 855 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Royal Albert tea set in early Country Roses pattern.

Sold for £720 More details 1

Lot 863 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Silver plate cutlery to include Walker & Hall soup ladels and others together with 2 silver sugar tongs.

Sold for £110 More details 1

Lot 868 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Bing & Grondahl, Denmark: 'Flying Seagull' part dinner set, to include: teapot, sugar bowl, plates and dishes of various sizes.

Sold for £160 More details 1

Lot 873 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A glass cocktail set together with a liqueur set various cruet sets and other items.

Sold for £150 More details 1

Lot 874 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Bohemian coloured glass, to include: wine glasses and liqueur glasses together with two decanters.

Sold for £120 More details 1

Lot 876 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A box of naval badges and patches together with cut-throat razors recorders a parasol opera glasses and other items.

Sold for £120 More details 1

Lot 880 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Copeland Spode blue and white dinner service together with other blue and white items.

Sold for £180 More details 1

Lot 884 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A pair of bronzed figures of a huntsman and shepherdess, raised on bases bearing plaques 'Chasseur Louis XV' and 'Bergere Louis XV', 63cms high.

Sold for £210 More details 1

Lot 885 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Regency style centrepiece base with three swans together with a pair of spelter stork themed candlesticks, 40cms high.

Sold for £440 More details 1

Lot 889 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Early 20th Century Japanese bronze censer, decorated with stylized clouds and beasts of dragons, elephants, dogs of fo and others, nine character . read more

Sold for £100 More details 1

Lot 891 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Purple glaze Chinese bottle vase height 37cms together with a Chinese blackware jar and cover height 32cms.

Sold for £250 More details 1

Lot 893 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Two Maling lustreware plates.

Sold for £150 More details 1

Lot 896 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Cranberry glass and brass corinthium column oil lamp fitted for electricity, height 69cms.

Sold for £180 More details 1

Lot 906 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Three Royal Doulton dog figures, a bulldog HN1043 together with a bull terrior HN1032 and a cairn terrior HN1034, circa 1940's.

Sold for £180 More details 1

Lot 911 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Chinese shallow dragon bowl on a wooden stand with six character kangxi marks.

Sold for £450 More details 1

Lot 928 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Porcelain bin labels together with a hand-painted cat themed lacquer tray a spice tin and tea tin a fluted glass vase with ramshead base, on . read more

Sold for £110 More details 1

Lot 930 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Seven Royal Doulton figurines, to include: 'Biddy Penny Farthing', HN1843 'French Peasant', HN2075 'Bess', HN2003 'Afternoon Tea', HN1747 'Spring . read more

Sold for £110 More details 1

Lot 933 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Royal Doulton figurines, to include: 'Darby', HN1427' 'Joan', HN1422 'Masquerade', HN2259 'Top O' The Hill', HN1849 'Southern Belle', HN2229 and . read more

Sold for £120 More details 1

Lot 938 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Royal Doulton hand painted plates for Tiffany & Co New York together with 3 other Royal Doulton hand painted plates.

Sold for £110 More details 1

Lot 950 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Glassware to include an 18th Century air twist air flute together with other glasses, a perfume bottle and a green glass bowl.

Sold for £140 More details 1

Lot 956 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Isle of Man TT racing memorabilia to include 2 sports series Royal Bradwell mugs the racing year edited by G S Davison commemorative coins . read more

Sold for £240 More details 1

Lot 962 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Capodimonte figure groups to include a fruit seller a watchmaker a shepherdess and another some with certificates of authenticity. (4)

Sold for £100 More details 1

Lot 967 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Wooden items to include a face screen with turned wooden handle signed boxes, a writing slope and others.

Sold for £200 More details 1

Lot 969 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Glassware to include goblets, vases, wine glasses and other items.

Sold for £130 More details 1

Lot 977 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A butterfly carbide lamp number 604 in original box a ceramic model of a miners lamp stamped Murton Colliery 1838 hard hats and a quantity of . read more

Sold for £100 More details 1

Lot 983 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

King & Son country figurines, to include: Parliamentary Gunners Set A Parliamentary Gun Commander and English Civil War Cannon, in original boxes . read more

Sold for £220 More details 1

Lot 999 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Pair of Dresden pot pourri vases and covers, with pierced covers and scenes of courting couples, height 17cm approximately pair of leaf shape dishes . read more

Sold for £160 More details 1

Lot 1000 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Republic of Games gaming notebook PC, G Series, by Asus, in original box.

Sold for £320 More details 1

Lot 1006 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Greaves & Hilder Ltd. of Kirkstall, Leeds: and early 20th Century Best's Gauzeless lamp in aluminium and brass.

Sold for £180 More details 1

Lot 1009 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Military items, to include: two metal whistles a periscope a Volkmann spoon a Coldstream Guards print in frame a leather bullet pouch and an . read more

Sold for £100 More details 1

Lot 1010 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Nikon F-401S film camera, with 50mm f1.8 lens a 28mm f2.8 lens a 70-210mm f5.6 zoom lens a Pentacon 300mm lens, in leather carrying case and . read more

Sold for £100 More details 1

Lot 1012 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Derby white ground circular dish and soup bowl, each with four floral posies enclosing central floral and foliate bursts, gilt rims, both 25cm . read more

Sold for £170 More details 1

Lot 1024 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A 19th Century inlaid walnut and burr walnut liqueur box, the quarter veneered top and front decorated with burr walnut crossbanding and patinated . read more

Sold for £270 More details 1

Lot 1032 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Large Chinese 'Islamic' market blue and white shallow bowl, the centre with script within diamond panel cloud scrolls, enclosed by border band with . read more

Sold for £700 More details 1

Lot 1033A (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Puma solingen German dagger with sheath.

Sold for £280 More details 1

Lot 1034 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Horn handled and silver mounted walking sticks and another silver mounted and wooden walking stick. (3)

Sold for £140 More details 1

Lot 1056 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A B.S.A. 22 cal underlever air rifle serial number GS00430, fitted a 3-9 x 40 WA telescopic sight and pellet magazine together with a black gun slip.

Sold for £110 More details 1

Lot 1060 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Gunmark Black Sable Deluxe: a 12 bore side by side sidelock ejector shotgun with detachable side plates, 25in. barrels with 70mm chambers and double . read more

Sold for £220 More details 1

Lot 1087 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

An Ultraglide SX mobility scooter by Electromotion.

Sold for £170 More details 1

Lot 1092 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Microglide mobility scooter by Electromotion together with a folding wheelchair and a Bosch electric hedge trimmer.

Sold for £120 More details 1

Lot 1109 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Georgian style mahogany serpentine front bureau bookcase, 190cms high.

Sold for £120 More details 1

Lot 1120 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Stained pine blanket box with brass handles width 96cms.

Sold for £120 More details 1

Lot 1127 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

Oak reproduction sideboard on turned legs fitted with two central drawers and two cupboards width 168cms.

Sold for £100 More details 1

Lot 1132 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Continental clock garniture of marble and giltmetal design, together with a pair of matching urns.

Sold for £200 More details 1

Lot 1133 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A reproduction oak hall table, raised on spiral twist legs and stretchers.

Sold for £120 More details 1

Lot 1135 (Town & County Sale, Wed, 24th Oct 2018)

A Georgian stained oak dresser with panelled back, raised on cabriole legs.

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