This shrine figure was purchased in 1965 by Richard Hutchings, Keeper of Ethnography, with the War Damage Fund.
On taking up his post in 1964, Hutchings examined the Liverpool ethnology collections and departed on a radical collecting policy. With the approval of the museum’s Director, Thomas Hume, he decided that it would be impossible to collect for a future gallery of ”world ethnography” and so proposed to concentrate resources on acquiring works of “primitive art”. He also had the idea that he would attempt to plug the gaps, as he saw it, in his department’s holdings of “primitive art.”
His purchases for the museum were made from art galleries in London, Paris and the Netherlands. He focused on the sculptures and masks of many West African cultures that from the beginning of the 20th century were considered as African art by European dealers, collectors and artists.