Benin Altar photograph, EEPA 1993-014
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
EEPA.1993-014
Dates:
1891 May
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 albumen print
cabinet card
black and white
12.7 x 17.8 cm. (5 x 7 inches) (without mount)
Repository:
One cabinet card with an albumen photographic print by Cyril Punch of a Benin altar with two bronze heads supporting ivory tusks and framing a group of brass statues and bells, an inscription on the frame reading, "Juju altar, Benin City, May 1891.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
A handwritten title on this albumen photograph reads: "Juju altar. Kings compound Benin City May 1891." This cabinet card is considered the earliest known photograph of a Benin altar and the only one known to exist prior to the British invasion of Benin in 1897. It shows the configuration of carved ivory tusks, commemorative heads, bells, a king figure with an eben (sword), and smaller bronze figures. The photograph was taken by Cyril Punch in 1891.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Cyril Punch was a British merchant who lived in the late 1800s and who often traded between Lagos and Benin.

Administration
Processing Information
The mount and the albumen print have been separated for conservation reasons.
Author
Eden Orelove

Container
1

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Conditions Governing Access note
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.

Custodial History note
Custodial History note
Purchased, 1992.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Africa Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nigeria Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Benin (Nigeria) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albumen prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cabinet photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art
National Museum of African Art
P.O. Box 37012
MRC 708
Washington, DC 20013-7012
elisofonarchives@si.edu
http://africa.si.edu/collection/eliot-elisofon-photographic-archives/