The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 25, 2024

Pendant: Crocodile

Pendant: Crocodile

1930 or earlier

Did You Know?

A goldsmith had to create superfine rolls of wax to make the texture of this piece; the wax was used to make a mold into which liquid gold was poured.


This pendant was cast in gold using the lost-wax method. Gold objects are the only Baule art forms associated with ancestor spirits. Pendants can have many uses. Usually hidden in pots or suitcases, gold adornments can be displayed on important occasions such as funerals. They can be laid out around the corpse before burial. A widow will wear them on a chain around her neck or attached to her hair at the ceremony signaling the end of mourning.
  • by at least 1935
    Tristan Tzara by at least 1935
    Nasli Heeramaneck, NY until 1952
    Cleveland Museum of Art by purchase, 1952
  • Radin, Paul, and James Johnson Sweeney. African Folktales & Sculpture. New York: Pantheon Books, 1952. Mentioned: p. 346; Reproduced: pl. 105
    Brooklyn Museum. Masterpieces of African Art. Exhibition Dates: October 21, 1954-January 2, 1955. [Brooklyn]: Brooklyn Museum, 1954. Mentioned: p. 46; Reproduced: no. 125
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Handbook. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 389
    Robbins, Warren M. African Art in American Collections = L'art Africain Dans Les Collections Americaines. New York: F.A. Praeger, 1966. Reproduced: p. 91, no. 86
    Sweeney, James Johnson. African Sculpture. [Princeton, N.J.]: Princeton University Press, 1970. Mentioned: p. 189; Reproduced: pl. 105
    Vogel, Susan Mullin. Baule: African Art, Western Eyes. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, 1997. Mentioned: p. 299; Reproduced: p. 201
    Webb, Virginia-Lee, and Walker Evans. Perfect Documents: Walker Evans and African Art, 1935. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Mentioned: p. 22; Reproduced: p. 23, no. 13
    Robbins, Warren M. African sculpture. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Pub, 2005. Reproduced: p. 91, no. 86
  • Baule: African Art/Western Eyes. Yale University Art Gallery (organizer) (August 30, 1997-January 4, 1998); The Art Institute of Chicago (February 14-May 10, 1998).
    Baule: African Art/Western Eyes. Museum for African Art, NY (September 11, 1998-January 3, 1999); National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC (February 9-May 16, 1999).
    Perfect Documents: Walker Evans and African Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (organizer) (February 1-September 3, 2000).
    NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Perfect Documents: Walker Evans and African Art" 2/1/00 - 9/3/00
    New Haven, CT: Yale University Art Gallery, 8/30/97 - 1/4/98. Art Institute of Chicago, 2/14/98 - 5/19/98. NY: The Museum for African Art, 9/11/98 - 1/3/99. Washington, DC: National Museum for African Art, 2/9/99 - 5/16/99, Baule: African Art: Western Eyes. color repr. p. 201.
  • {{cite web|title=Pendant: Crocodile|url=false|author=|year=1930 or earlier|access-date=25 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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