|Maori, Waikato Area, New Zealand|
This very finely carved staff or walking stick has an excellent, deep patina. It is intricately carved almost its entire length with bands of rauponga. The top section is dominated by a finely-rendered ancestor figure. The figure has extensive facial and body tattooing. The eyes are inset with haliotis shell. The left arm rests at the figure's side. The right is held towards the breast. The hand has been lost and most probably held a small greenstone club.
A band of bone or marine ivory panels has been applied above the ancestor figure's head. A bone or marine ivory roundel has been inserted in the top of the staff. A removable white metal tip has been added to the lower end of the staff. Almost certainly later but with obvious age, this has allowed the staff or walking stick to be used as a walking stick.
|Location of Origin: South Pacific / Australia|
|Dimensions: Length: 87 cm|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : Other|
|Secondary Classification: All Other Categories : Collectibles|
|A related example, almost certainly by the same carver, is in the Mark Gordon collection, and is illustrated in Gordon (2011, p. 184). The Auckland Museum attributed the Gordon example to the Waikato area of New Zealand's North Island and to 1870-1880, and attribution that we have followed here.|
The British Museum also has a staff or walking stick that has very similar bands of carving but without an ancestor figure (see Starzecka, et al, 2010, plate 106). This example was presented to the British Museum in 1895 and was said to have belonged to a Maori chief who was killed at the eruption of Mount Tawawera. The Museum's register states that the staff was 'procured from a native interpreter on a visit to the celebrated terraces [of Mount Tawawera] just before they were destroyed.'
References: Gordon, M., Ancient Echoes: The Mark Gordon Collection of Southeast Asian Indigenous Art, Talisman, 2011.Starzecka, D. C., R. Neich & M. Pendergrast, The Maori Collections of the British Museum, British Museum Press, 2010.
|Provenance: The item was acquired in the UK and most probably has been in the UK since colonial times; most probably the white metal tip was added in the UK.|
|Price:||Item has been sold.|
|Offered By:||Items for sale from dealers we worked with previously|
121 Mount Vernon, Boston, MA 02108 USA
Item has been sold.
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