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Fine African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art

by The Cobbs


317 lots with images

November 2, 2013

Live Auction

50 Jaffrey Road

Peterborough, NH, 03458 USA

Phone: +1 603.924.6361

Fax: +1 603 924 9089

Email: info@thecobbs.com

317 Lots
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A central Mesopotamian goddess figurine

Lot 1: A central Mesopotamian goddess figurine

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Description: Central Mesopotamia, possibly Eshnunna 2000-1800BC; Height: 3"Of classical form, the figurine with long hair, round eyes and fin-like nose, the large breasts beneath depictions of stylized elaborate jewelry. The legs bent forward.

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A central Mesopotamian goddess figurine

Lot 2: A central Mesopotamian goddess figurine

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Description: Central Mesopotamia, possibly Eshnunna 2000-1800BC; Height: 3 1/4"Of classical form, the figurine with long hair, round eyes and fin-like nose, the large breasts beneath depictions of stylized elaborate jewelry. Narrow waist with wide hips and typical vestigial legs.

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A Mesopotamian Cuneiform tablet

Lot 3: A Mesopotamian Cuneiform tablet

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Description: Mesopotamia 2500-1800BC; Height: 1 7/8"The small tablet highly weathered, however 11 distinct horizontal lines are still visible, though illegible on either side. The reverse with an old tag bearing the number "15".

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An Australian Aboriginal bark painting

Lot 4: An Australian Aboriginal bark painting

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Description: Tiwi, Australia; H: 13"The painting on stretched bark in shades of white, yellow, orange, red and dark brown; possibly depicting a squid. In fine condition.

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A South East Australian Aboriginal club

Lot 5: A South East Australian Aboriginal club

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Description: Australia; L: 8 1/4"From Southeastern Australia, possibly near the Victoria area; the club with long slender handle and swelling head with well rounded bulbous striking surface. A fine and rare example.

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A Kukukuku stone headed club, New Guinea

Lot 6: A Kukukuku stone headed club, New Guinea

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Description: Kukukuku people, Papua New Guinea; L: 45 1/2"The club of classical type, the head of 'pineapple' form with some bosses missing, and probably Neolithic in origin. The head held in place by woven fiber; the shaft with exceptional patina, terminating in a point. A fine old example and getting increasingly difficult to come by. On a custom base.

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A Papuan gulf Gope board, New Guinea

Lot 7: A Papuan gulf Gope board, New Guinea

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Description: Papuan gulf, Papua New Guinea; H: 37" Central Papuan Gulf style, the board with white designs against a red ground with black outlining.

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Two fine Papuan gulf bark belts

Lot 8: Two fine Papuan gulf bark belts

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Description: Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea; D: 8 1/4" & 9 1/2"The belts made of bark that has been gently peeled and dried to shape, with incised surfaces; the first with stylized zoomorphs in repeating bands around the belt, the second with stylized 'x' patterns and terminating at each end with classical Papuan gulf faces. Fine old examples and in excellent condition. On custom bases

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A Papuan gulf Gope board, New Guinea

Lot 9: A Papuan gulf Gope board, New Guinea

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Description: Central Gulf, Papua New Guinea; H: 49"Probably from Goaribari island, the board with typical face and body; much of the original white background now lost. Good older surface and remains of red and black pigment.

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A Trobriand Islands splash board

Lot 10: A Trobriand Islands splash board

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Description: Milne bay, Papua New Guinea; H: 15"Of classical from with interlocking curvilinear designs in red and white, the board well carved and with minor cracks, though in fine condition. On a custom base.

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A New Guinea drum and food dish

Lot 11: A New Guinea drum and food dish

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Description: Papua New Guinea; H: 20 1/2" & L: 32"The first, a drum of tapering form, possibly from Eastern New guinea, the skin deficient, showing wear and handling. The second a fine lower Sepik food dish with stylized figures at each end. Fine dark encrusted patina.

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A fine Tami Islands Bowl in the form of a turtle, New Guinea

Lot 12: A fine Tami Islands Bowl in the form of a turtle, New Guinea

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Description: Huon gulf/Tami Island, Papua New Guinea; L: 21"The bowl in the form of a swimming sea turtle, elaborately carved to the bottom with face and fins incised, the reverse with a carved face and additional designs. Overall dark lustrous surface. Some restoration to the head of the turtle though all from original pieces. On a custom base.

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A Huon gulf drum, New Guinea

Lot 13: A Huon gulf drum, New Guinea

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Description: North Coast, Papua New Guinea; L: 17"A finely carved delicate example with typical incising all about the waisted central portion, dark encrusted surface. The skin deficient.

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A fine Huon Gulf swimming board, New Guinea

Lot 14: A fine Huon Gulf swimming board, New Guinea

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Description: North Coast, Papua New Guinea; H: 55 1/2"The board with the lower two thirds undecorated, the top with a long snouted face and typical scrollwork. The designs well integrated about the central raised zoomorph head. Such boards though not true 'surfboards' were used to aid in personal flotation near the shoreline. A rare and fine example. On a custom base.

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A Huon gulf drum, New Guinea

Lot 15: A Huon gulf drum, New Guinea

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Description: North Coast, Papua New Guinea; L: 22"A finely carved delicate example with typical incising all about the waisted central portion, highlighted with red and yellow enamel paints. The skin deficient.

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An Abelam carved head, New Guinea

Lot 16: An Abelam carved head, New Guinea

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Description: Abelam, Papua New Guinea; H: 12 1/2" The head with typical Abelam features such as high rounded brow, powerful nose and stylized beard, with rounded coif. The whole with a dark encrusted patina.Comments: An old label on the piece reads: Yam cult ceremony object "Maira", Maprik area, East Sepik Province"

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A fine Abelam helmet mask, New Guinea

Lot 17: A fine Abelam helmet mask, New Guinea

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Description: Abelam, Papua New Guinea; H: 21 1/2"Of unusual form, the helmet woven in the usual style however the face made from a single rib of palm and painted with geometric designs. The whole covered with black pigment. Fine patina and surface of use.

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A woven basketry mask for agricultural festivals

Lot 18: A woven basketry mask for agricultural festivals

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Description: Abelam, Papua New Guinea; H: 9"The basketry maskette with vibrant colors and in excellent condition. On a custom base.

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An Abelam Ritual Peg, New Guinea

Lot 19: An Abelam Ritual Peg, New Guinea

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Description: Abelam, Papua New Guinea; H: 21 1/2" The peg with split body and crowned with a small but well rendered head with typical features. Pigment intact and nice patinated surface. On a custom base.

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A woven basketry mask for agricultural festivals

Lot 20: A woven basketry mask for agricultural festivals

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Description: Abelam, Papua New Guinea; H: 19"Finely plaited and elaborately painted, the mask with bright red, yellow, black and white pigments. The basketry in fine condition. On a custom base.

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A fine Abelam mask, New Guinea

Lot 21: A fine Abelam mask, New Guinea

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Description: Abelam, Papua New Guinea; H: 18" The softwood mask, probably made to hang as a display object in a traditional context, with rounded head and high coif, the face with deep red pigment around raised ocular orbits of white with black pupils. A fine and intact example. On a custom base.

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An Boiken talipun

Lot 22: An Boiken talipun

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Description: Yanguru Boiken, Papua New Guinea; H: 15"Of typical form, the large shell showing age and handling attached to a wicker maskette with a high point and finely woven features, remains of clay and pigments especially to the nose. On a custom mount.

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A Yuat River dance shield, Post WWII

Lot 23: A Yuat River dance shield, Post WWII

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Description: Yuat River, Papua New Guinea; H: 67"The shield of classical form with three stylized faces with overhanging beaked muzzles. The whole with fine pigmentation and with original handle to reverse. A late example, used in dances.

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A New Guinea Face mask

Lot 24: A New Guinea Face mask

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Description: Keram/Yuat, Papua New Guinea; H: 15"The mask with high elongated brow, the face with concentric arcs beneath each eye. Remains of original pigment. On a custom base.

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A Yuat dance mask, New Guinea

Lot 25: A Yuat dance mask, New Guinea

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Description: Yuat River, Papua New Guinea; H: 14"The mask of generally flat form, with raised forehead and angular inverted triangles from each eye to the sides of the face, forming the wings of a bird when views with the nose as the bird's head. Incised designs to the face and small rounded lips. Fine patina.

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A fine Lower Sepik mask, Papua New Guinea

Lot 26: A fine Lower Sepik mask, Papua New Guinea

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Description: Lower Sepik/Ramu, Papua New Guinea; H: 22"Powerfully carved, the ovate mask with long forehead and brow above inset eyes made from conus shell disks, the small nose curling in classical fashion, a band of shells tied around the nose. The mouth small and lips puckered, the outer perimeter serrated to indicate a beard. Pierced for attachment. On a custom base.

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A fine Bird headed figure, Papua New Guinea

Lot 27: A fine Bird headed figure, Papua New Guinea

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Description: Lower Sepik/Ramu, Papua New Guinea; H: 24 3/4"The figure with elongated body and rounded shoulders, the head in the form of a parrot, with round face and inset shell eyes; the breasts clearly indicated, the legs and buttocks well carved and fleshy, overall incising of classical Lower Sepik designs. Standing on an integral plinth. On a custom mount.

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A Schouten islands mask, New Guinea

Lot 28: A Schouten islands mask, New Guinea

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Description: Vokeo island, Papua New Guinea; H: 20"Of typical form, the mask with rounded forehead, with typical nose and nasal decorations, above an arced band and small mouth. The bottom of the mask with knop. The mask retaining the original fiber coiling to the perimeter. A fine example with remains of original white and blue pigments. On a custom base.

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A fine Lower Sepik Mortar, New Guinea

Lot 29: A fine Lower Sepik Mortar, New Guinea

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Description: Lower Sepik River, Papua New Guinea; H: 8 1/4"The mortar of hour-glass shape with maskoids above and below the central waisted section. The whole with incising and fine encrusted patina. Well worn and patinated. Very fine and rare example.

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A Fine North Coast Barag mask, New Guinea

Lot 30: A Fine North Coast Barag mask, New Guinea

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Description: North Coast, Papua New Guinea; H; 20"The older mask with long forehead, and heavy brow above the long pointed nose, the face with stripes of pigment remaining. Some damage as pictured, to the face. On a custom base.

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A superb pair of Koil island carved figures, New Guinea

Lot 31: A superb pair of Koil island carved figures, New Guinea

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Description: Schouten Islands, Papua New Guinea; H: 58" & 59"A fine and rare pair of figural carvings from a ceremonial house on Koil Island (one of the Islands of The Schouten island group), the first depicting a half figure with elongated head, and fine features, the face related to the more common Vokeo island masks; the body depicted with arms akimbo, sitting on the abdomen, the lower body terminating in an elaborately decorated post with classical geometric motifs. The second, carved with a head in similar fashion, though the entire body is rendered as a post with design elements. A wonderful and large pair with presence and power. On custom bases.

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A Superb Lower Sepik mask, New Guinea

Lot 32: A Superb Lower Sepik mask, New Guinea

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Description: Lower Sepik/Ramu, Papua New Guinea; H: 18 1/2"Of dark wood, the mask with simple lines, concave eye orbits and simple smiling mouth the nose of typical beak-form with perforations to hold ornaments, remains of pigment. The mask appears to be stone or shell carved. On a custom base

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A superb Human bone dagger, New Guinea

Lot 33: A superb Human bone dagger, New Guinea

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Description: Upper/Middle Sepik River, Papua New Guinea; H: 15 3/4"Of Human bone, the outer edges flaring widely and the tapering blade extremely long; the dagger with classical repeated curling motifs and faces, found along the upper and Middle Sepik. Fine old brownish yellow patina with original cassowary feather drop tied to the back with more recent string. A fine and extremely rare example.

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A Post-war Sepik hook figure

Lot 34: A Post-war Sepik hook figure

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Description: Possibly Iatmul, Papua New Guinea; H: 28"The figure showing wear and use, though made after WWII. The eyes as inset conus shell disks and with a good patina from being kept in a men's house.

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A Post-war Sepik mask

Lot 35: A Post-war Sepik mask

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Description: Sepik River, Papua New Guinea; H: 27"A late example, though not unappealing; the face with bright pigmentation and good carving.

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A Middle Sepik female figure, New Guinea

Lot 36: A Middle Sepik female figure, New Guinea

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Description: Sepik River, Papua New Guinea; H: 18 1/2"The female figure standing on an integral base with well carved thick legs, large exaggerated sex, and arms akimbo, meeting at the hips. The face strongly carved with two small shell eyes. The top of the head with a carved openwork loop, possibly for attaching to an architectural element. Remains of red pigment. On a custom base.

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A Sepik River Crocodile canoe prow

Lot 37: A Sepik River Crocodile canoe prow

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Description: Sepik River, Papua New Guinea; L: 62"of massive form, the carving naturalistically depicting a life-size crocodile with scales and teeth. Fine workmanship and remains of red and white pigment. Some minor damage from wear, but overall fine.

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A fine Karawari hook figure, New Guinea

Lot 38: A fine Karawari hook figure, New Guinea

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Description: Karawari River, Papua New Guinea; 53 1/2"The large figure well carved in profile as is common, the head large and powerful with inset shell eyes, and downward pointing face and chin. The body indicated by upward and downward pointing hooks, standing on a single leg. Remains of pigment. One hook probably replaced. On a custom mount.

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A fine and rare Karawari charm figurine, New Guinea

Lot 39: A fine and rare Karawari charm figurine, New Guinea

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Description: Karawari River, Papua New Guinea; L: 5 1/2"The figurine carved in the form of a long fish with remains of red pigment, the carving appears to be stone or shell carved, and the figure is made using the natural shape of the wood. A wonderful and rare composition. On a custom base.

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A Hunstien mountain Hook figure, New Guinea

Lot 40: A Hunstien mountain Hook figure, New Guinea

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Description: Hunstein range, Papua New Guinea; H: 27"A 'Garra' of classical form, the knop atop the concave composition, with pointed curls facing downward into the center and up from the interior, the central region pigmented white and with eyes, the lower portion broken and missing. A fine and rare example, damage notwithstanding. On a custom base.

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A Washkuk Nogwi female figure,

Lot 41: A Washkuk Nogwi female figure,

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Description: Nukuma Washkuk, Papua New Guinea; H: 46 3/4" Of attenuated form, this older example with small head in classical Nukuma style with red pigmented face and white infill, the arms carved akimbo, hands resting on waist. The body with scarification with orange and white pigment, the sex with human hair applied to the surface. A fine and older example from Amaki. On a custom base.

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A Nukuma Washkuk Mindja, New Guinea

Lot 42: A Nukuma Washkuk Mindja, New Guinea

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Description: Nukuma Washkuk, Papua New Guinea; H: 45"From Amaki village, the board of classical design with a large central face deeply concave against the body, the nose pointing downward with smiling mouth. The upper and lower sections with alternating black and white triangles. The whole in red, white and black, typical for the style and the village.

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A Painted Washkuk palm panel, New Guinea

Lot 43: A Painted Washkuk palm panel, New Guinea

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Description: Washkuk, Papua New Guinea; H: 46" Finely done, in the form of a human face with totemic designs on either side. Pigment still vibrant and rich; panel in good condition. Comments: Made from the thin bark of the palm tree, these panels were made in large quantities and lined the inside ceiling of the men's houses

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A Kwoma washkuk Nogwi figure, New Guinea

Lot 44: A Kwoma washkuk Nogwi figure, New Guinea

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Description: Kwoma Washkuk, Papua New Guinea; H: 54" Of classical form, the figure with large head, and well executed face, the body with elaborate scarification and hands to sides, the whole on firmly carved legs with complex pigmentation.

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A Painted Washkuk palm panel, New Guinea

Lot 45: A Painted Washkuk palm panel, New Guinea

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Description: Washkuk, Papua New Guinea; W: 29"The panel composed of two attached pieces of palm bark, the design largely abstract and depicting totemic symbols. The top notched to fit around an architectural element. Fine paining and remains of pigment.

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A Nukuma Washkuk Yena figure, new Guinea

Lot 46: A Nukuma Washkuk Yena figure, new Guinea

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Description: Nukuma Washkuk, Papua New Guinea; H: 45"Of classical form for the type, the figure with deep concave face and long phallic nose, the whole on a long peg; remains of original pigments

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An Upper Sepik spirit board, New Guinea

Lot 47: An Upper Sepik spirit board, New Guinea

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Description: April River, Papua New Guinea; H: 65"Classically carved, with three registers of lozenge shaped devices and serrated designs. Fine original pigmentation.

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A fine Upper Sepik Shell armband, New Guinea

Lot 48: A fine Upper Sepik Shell armband, New Guinea

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Description: April River, Papua New Guinea; L: 7 1/2"Of classical form made from tortoise shell, the armband with two panels of classical designs with remains of white infill and pigments. Fine and rare example. On a custom base.

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An Upper Sepik canoe prow, New Guinea

Lot 49: An Upper Sepik canoe prow, New Guinea

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Description: April River, Papua New Guinea; L: 47"A fine example of the type cut from a canoe that had been in use; the prow a stylized crocodile head with birds sitting atop. The pigmentation largely intact and in fine condition. On a custom base.

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An Upper Sepik spirit board, New Guinea

Lot 50: An Upper Sepik spirit board, New Guinea

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Description: April River, Papua New Guinea; H: 50"Of classical form, the board with lozenges and serrated motifs beneath a stylized head at the top.

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