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Clappers (bones)

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Four slightly curved pieces of ebony of cigar-shaped cross section.


By the 1880s, Ernest Dalton, Chicopee, Massachusetts, who played them in minstrel shows throughout the 1880s and 1890s; before 1970, by descent to his grandson, Trevor Robinson, Massachusetts; 1970, gift of Robinson to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 22, 1989)

Credit Line

Gift of Trevor Robinson

late 19th century

Object Place

United States


Length 18.3 cm, width 2.8 cm, thickness 1 cm (Length 7 3/16 in., width 1 1/8 in., thickness 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



Musical Instruments


Musical instruments, Idiophones