African Art

Snuff Container

19th century

Gourd and metal wire

3 × 3 1/2 in. (7.6 × 8.9 cm)
Bequest of Paul F. Walter
South Africa
19th century
Containers - Other

Sir Henry Morton Stanley (born John Rowlands) (1841–1904), London, probably acquired in South Africa, 1877–1898, [see note 1]; sale, Christie’s, London, September 24, 2002, lots 46–47; sold to Paul F. Walter (1937–2017), New York; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2017

Note 1: A Welsh born journalist, author, explorer, and colonial administrator, Stanley was known for his exploration of Central Africa; his search for the source of the Nile led to significant discovery and development in the Congo Basin. According to the 2002 Christie’s sale catalogue, ‘Object title,’ was part of a small collection of Zulu objects, which were possibly acquired in 1877, others most certainly in 1892, or on Stanley’s final trip to South Africa in 1898. (for more on Stanley, see: Tim Jeal, Stanley: Africa’s Greatest Explorer, 2007; Felix Driver, ‘Henry Morton Stanley and His Critics: Geography, Exploration and Empire,’ Past and Present, No. 133. (Nov., 1991), pp. 134-166)


Christie’s, London, The African Sale Including Henry Morton Stanley Collection, sale cat. (September 24, 2002), ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.