The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

Sistrum *

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A sistrum, given by Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Henry Northcote

Where: The British Museum, Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG

The catalogue entry reads:

“Top part of a sistrum, tsenatsil cast in two parts, body and octagonal, hollow shaft. The two sides of the sistrum are decorated with openwork, interlocking crosses and along their edges; with five pairs of semi circular decorations. Two wires with flattened ends are threaded through the sides of the sistrum and are each threaded with three brass discs which make the instruments distinct sound. The hollow shaft is soldered to the base and has two small holes which would have been used to attach it to a handle. The sides of the sistrum have been crushed inwards and the top decoration is missing.”

Museum number: Af1868,1230.12
Date: 19thC
Acquisition name: Sir Stafford Henry Northcote, 1st Earl of Iddesleigh
Acquisition date: 1868

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