Souvenir Emu Egg

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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
date made
place designed; place made
Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
place sold; place collected
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
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
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Eleanor H. Smith
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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