A lttle more than a year ago, an inquiry was made about a similar
brass pouch which was posted on another tribal-arts forum. I checked
but apparently the posting has been deleted which is too bad, but I
will summarize the main ideas of what was a lengthy response. This
brass pouch resembles a few pouches attributed to the Kapisiki- but I
do not believe yours is authentic. Excellent examples of
these "Kapsiki" pouches can be seen online at the Afrika Museum (Berg
En Dal), www.afrikamuseum.nl , see inventory no. 304-6 and 442-1.
(type collectie online, fill in the blank and then zoeken!).
Similar pouches might be attributed to Northern Nigeria and other
parts of Cameroon but these attributions must be scrutinized very
carefully, as very often even museum attributions aren't reliable
because they accession the object under whatever ethnic group the
donor states, right or wrong.
The most significant literature about brass-casting amongst the
Kapsiki has been produced by Walter Van Beek who is a professor in
the Dept of Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Utrecht. (see Iron, Brass
and Burial in Forge et Forgerons and his other works). If someone has
his contact info, he could probably settle the matter in an instant.
My skepticism about your pouch's authenticity stems both from it's
appearance, and from the fact that too many of these have been
showing up in a lot of venues, eBay for one. You might expect old
metalwork to demonstrate a certain patination depending on its use.
Copper alloys that have been buried typically turn somewhat dark and
show some verdigris. Those handled frequently may develop a certain
luster (they shine even when discolored) with area of bright metal on
the edges and contact points. The patina of your pouch is dark and
quite uniform. If the object was really as old as suggested by its
dark patina-I would expect more wear and tear. I hope that helps.
--- In African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
, "c_schunck" <c_schunck@...>
> I am quite new to this group but have already enjoyed some of the
> insightful discussions! I would like to show you some pictures of a
> bronze object that was sold to me as a "wallet from Chad". I
> personally doubt that this container served as a "wallet", but it
> seems to be an interesting piece and I would be glad to hear your
> opinions. The photos can be found in
> The"wallet" reminds me of a "bottle", for example to carry water,
> the inner surface shows indeed some -n, of corrosion, so
> probably contained some substance at some point. On the other hand
> piece cannot have contained a liquid directly due to the blow holes
> has at the bottom and back. The piece consists of two parts the
> "bottle" and the "lid".
> Below are some observations that have made me interested in the
> and its function: It displays three figures: two standing at side of
> the bottle, holding on to it and one at the top of the lid, which
> appears to be seated. The figures are anthropomorphic or monkey
> they wear some kind cap on their head, have very impressive noses,
> long fingers and a tail on the back. On front of the lid there are
> three crocodiles/salamanders, and above them there is a triangle
> contains a spiral. The triangle in fact extends into another
> if one includes the structure below the spiral. The lid ends in
> loops. The side of the bottle itself is adorned with three times
> loops. So the number "three" appears to be important: there are
> figures, three crocodiles, triangles and loops in multiples of
> There are also -again three - fishes engraved into the piece, one
> covers the front and one the back of the bottle and the third one
> be found under the lid.
> If anyone has an idea what people might have made this item and for
> what purpose that would be great!