Lot 122A: Rare 19th C. Humboldt Bay South Pacific Wood Canoe Prow

Artemis Gallery

April 17, 2018
Louisville, CO, US

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Description: Oceania, Indonesia, Irian Jaya, Humboldt Bay culture, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A beautiful example of a wooden canoe prow with an avian form - a long-beaked, heron-like bird whose head meets at a right angle to a squared-off post. Bright blue, red, white, and black paint gives this piece a pretty appearance. The bird depicted is probably a friarbird, believed in this region to be a messenger from the ancestors who will watch over fishermen at sea. Size: 14.5" W x 15" H (36.8 cm x 38.1 cm)

Provenance: ex-private Tucson, Arizona, USA collection; ex-Ron Perry collection; Ron Perry collected art and artifacts for more than 40 years in New Guinea and the South Pacific. He collaborated with Carolyn Leigh to write a book entitled, "Art Dealer in the Last Unknown: Ron Perry & New Guinea Art: the early years 1964-1972" (2011)

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Condition Report: Stable cracks in wooden surface, especially near top; modern drilled hole for attachment in top. Small areas of loss and damage commensurate with age. Nicely preserved motifs and pigment.
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