Souvenir Emu Egg

Horizontally mounted, brown-speckled emu egg held aloft by a bearded aboriginal or Maori man in loincloth on one knee, flanked by an emu and a kangaroo, all three on an oval base shaped as rocky ground on four, three-lobed, split-scroll feet. Egg is secured with twisted wire tied between a small cylindrical cup covered by a cast spreadwing bird on top, two ring handles at sides, fern leaves on bottom, and a clipped-corner rectangular plaque on front inscribed in script "Souvenir / of the / Centennial Exhibition / 1776 Philadelphia 1876 / from / Australia". Underside of bottom mount on egg is struck "H.STEINER" in raised sans serif letters next to a lion passant facing left in shield, and a kangaroo standing in a vertical rectangle. Areas of black on man's legs, possibly losses in silverplate.
Maker is Henry Steiner (1835-1914) of Adelaide, Australia. A German-born and -trained silversmith, Steiner showcased his works at numerous international and intercolonial exhibitions of the late 1800s.
Currently not on view
Object Name
egg, emu, souvenir
date made
Physical Description
egg, emu (egg material)
silver (mounts; plaque material)
silver plate (base; figures material)
overall: 11 5/8 in x 7 1/2 in x 6 in; 29.5275 cm x 19.05 cm x 15.24 cm
place designed; place made
Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
place sold; place collected
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Domestic Furnishings
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Eleanor H. Smith
Additional Media

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