Skip Navigation

Box in the Form of a Leopard's Head

Arts of Africa

This box was used to hold kola nuts presented to visitors in the royal court of Benin. Leopards are one of the most commonly portrayed animals in African art. Intelligent and courageous, they often serve as metaphors for powerful individuals or associations.
CULTURE Edo
MEDIUM Wood, upholstery studs
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 6 11/16 × 5 5/16 × 4 1/4 in. (17 × 13.5 × 10.8 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
ACCESSION NUMBER 56.6.31a-b
CREDIT LINE Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos
PROVENANCE Until 1897, Benin Kingdom; 1897, taken from the Royal Palace during the British military raid and occupation of Benin City by an unidentified British agent; between 1897 and 1901, provenance not yet documented; by 1901, acquired by William Dowling Webster of London, United Kingdom; between 1901 and 1926, provenance not yet documented; before 1926, reportedly acquired by James B. Gaskell of Liverpool, United Kingdom; February 22, 1926, purchased at Glendening & Co., London, lot 229, by Harry Geoffrey Beasley of London and Chislehurst, United Kingdom; until 1939, likely in Cranmore Ethnographic Museum collection, Chislehurst; by 1953, acquired by Millicent A. Rogers of Taos, NM; 1953, inherited from Millicent A. Rogers by Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos; 1956, gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos to the Brooklyn Museum.
Provenance FAQ
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Box in form of leopard head, wood with metal tacks over surface, ears protrude, teeth and fangs represented.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Edo. Box in the Form of a Leopard's Head, 19th century. Wood, upholstery studs, 6 11/16 × 5 5/16 × 4 1/4 in. (17 × 13.5 × 10.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 56.6.31a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 56.6.31a-b_PS11.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 56.6.31a-b_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
RECORD COMPLETENESS
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.