P. Amaury Talbot in his The Peoples of Southern Nigeria (1926) illustrates as fig.225 (opp. p.924) two very similar bell-heads, which he describes as "bronze heads, Ijebu Ode Yoruba". William Fagg, when describing another example that was sold at Christie's in London (24 October 1978, lot 74), relates how, on a visit in 1950 to the Alaketu of Ketu in Dahomey (rep. Benin), he was shown two "magnificent works of the Ijebu brass casters' art" which he was allowed to photograph - and indeed he reproduced two of his photographs in the catalogue. He goes on to say that at Ijebu-Ode certain chiefs - Olisa, Egbo and Apebi, and also the Awujale (king) himself - were each required by custom to have one omo cast as an image of himself, which was worn after his death by his successor, hanging from the right shoulder and resting on the left hip, in ceremonial processions. Doubtless similar institutions existed in other towns where Ijebu omo are found. Another omo was in the George Ortiz collection (Sotheby's, 29 June 1978, lot 42). The present example is an exceptionally fine casting of great beauty.