Tusk

A work made of ivory.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of ivory.

Date:

1850/1888

Artist:

Edo, Kingdom of Benin
Nigeria
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

Benin royal altars have been embellished with matched pairs of carved elephant tusks since the 18th century, when ivory—a commodity traditionally controlled by the Benin king—dramatically increased in value. In the mid-19th century King Adolo (reigned about 1850–88) commissioned this tusk and 15 others for the altar of his father, Osemwende. It was anchored on a brass head like the one displayed nearby, and prominently features fish-legged oba (king) imagery in honor of the 15th-century ruler Ewuare.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Edo

Title

Tusk

Origin

Nigeria

Date

1850–1888

Medium

Ivory

Dimensions

150.5 × 195.6 × 12.7 cm (59 1/4 × 77 × 5 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin E. Hokin

Reference Number

1976.523

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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