Ivory Box

A carved ivory, bowl-shaped, box. The bottom half is decorated with two panels, each containing two crocodiles in relief. The lid is topped with a male Janus head, referring to a face appearing on the front, and back. This is likely to be a Sapi-Portuguese item; a term coined by the Portuguese in the 15th century to refer to items patronised for the European market. Such items often display a mixture of African and European elements and motifs in their overall form.

Further Information

  • Type: Ivories
  • Object: Ivory Box
  • Materials: Bone, ivory, tooth
  • Culture Group: Bullom, Temne
  • Dimensions: 156mm [H]
  • Production Date: 1490-1530
  • Associated Places: Unknown
  • Associated People: J. J. Klejman
  • Museum: British Museum
  • Accession Number: BM:Af.1952.18.1.a

Related Objects