Commemorative Altar Tusk



Carved ivory tusks were incorporated into commemorative assemblages in royal shrines within the palace complex in Benin City. They were often mounted in holes at the top of cast brass heads that are placed on altars dedicated to deceased Obas. This tusk was originally purchased for the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum from the Glendining Auction Rooms (now part of Bonhams). The trustees of the Wellcome Collection presented it to the World Museum via the British Museum in 1949.