136.21 cm x 91.44 cm x 41.59 cm (53 5/8 in. x 36 in. x 16 3/8 in.)
A chest in three pieces, all stacked on top of on another. The two chest pieces feature small center doors with decorative iron fittings around the handles and the hinges. Highly decorative iron fittings are added at intervals around the edges of the chest.
141.29 cm x 92.39 cm x 37.15 cm (55 5/8 in. x 36 3/8 in. x 14 5/8 in.)
A chest in three pieces, all stacked on top of on another. The two chest pieces feature small center doors with decorative iron fittings around the handles and the hinges. Decorative iron fittings are added at each wood inlay location.
Brass female figure, kneeling with buttocks on the heels, atop an iron staff. The protruding eyes, nose, and mouth convey a serene, dignified and somewhat withdrawn look. The figure has a beard around the face; she wears ornamentation in small holes atop the ears, cone-shaped headgear, and an elaborate necklace; there is a small spiral motif on the forehead, and two larger spiral motifs on the sides of the body. The hands are held in closed fists in front of the body, the left hand on top of the right.
The anthropomorphic brass staffs and figures of the Ogboni society usually come in male-female pairs and are called "Edan." This example is female, as indicated by the breasts and genitals. Female "edan" have beards, too, like their male counterparts-- the beard signifying old age, experience, and wisdom. The staff is an emblem of membership in the Ogboni society of the Yoruba peoples of southwestern Nigeria; the gesture of the hands made by the figurine on top shows the way members greet each other (with fists clenched, left hand over the right: representing the supremacy of the earth). The Ogboni society (also called the Oshugbo society) is a council made up of male and female elders proven to have high integrity and mature judgement. In precolonial times, and to a lesser extent today, this council fulfilled a number of political, judicial and spiritual functions, including the selection and removal of kings and punishment of serious offenders.
Carved ax handle is comprised of a kneeling male figure with rounded knob on top of his head, into which narrow end of triangular iron ax blade is embedded.
Ogun is god of iron and war and is dear to those whose livelihoods rely heavily on iron such as blacksmiths, sculptors, tailors, barbers, drivers as well as scarifiers and circumcision specialists. Because Ogun is embodied in sharpened edge of iron blades, those who use it are obliged to keep him satisfied in order for their tools to operate efficaciously. To honor Ogun, people occasionally spill sacrificial dog blood, snail mucous, or other appeasing substances on their tools to satisfy the needy god’s thirst.
Sketch #1 inscribed: these little ribs are no more than a 16 of an inch wide and about '132" thick ; referring to Gothic Srecery at top: these leaves are seperate but very little also modelled beautifully Sketch #2 inscribed: thin iron ; also: this at the end is thin but near key hole becomes about 5/16" thick Sketch #3 inscribed: thin at end becomes thicker towards key hole ; to lower left: thin plate iron cut out and rivetted onto plate below cut out mark slightly modeled and tool marked. this is one of the most beautiful in design I think I have seen.
Notation on sketch #3: this little outer frame is raised about 3/4 inch ; also: very flatly modelled & tool marked, riveted to plate below Notation: these little stems are not merely cut out of same thickness metal as rest of hinge but become much higher gradually running down again to flatly modelled leaves
It is a round, openwork tsuba, in the design of three interconnected bamboo leaves. It has the signature: Kishû jû, Sadanobu.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert an ornamental stick called kozuka.
It is a round, openwork iron tsuba, in the design of three interconnected irises. The two holes are plugged with gold.
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. The smaller hole is to insert kozuka, an ornamental stick. Irises are popular motifs in Japanese art, for their association with Tale of Ise, classical literature from the Heian period (794-1192).