Loading Spinner

Pacific Islands

The Pacific Islands stretch over a vast geographical area, including Japan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and New Zealand. The ethnographic and indigenous arts and crafts traditions of each of these regions varies greatly, thus collectively offering a great diversity of styles and aesthetic sensibilities which appeals to collectors of all kinds.

Bead necklaces of the Ainu people who once populated the island of Hokkaido off the coast of Japan, as well as the supernatural and totemic depictions of Papua New Guinea's flora and fauna are two of the many examples of artifacts found throughout the Pacific Islands. They include hunting and fishing implements, toys, jewelry, tools, and sculpture.

Prior to the arrival of European explorers, Pacific Island artifacts were constructed largely from stone, animal and fish bones, and wood. As trade routes incorporated these island communities, and eventually colonies were established in places like Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, glass, metal and pottery were incorporated into the native crafts. Pacific Island artifacts are cherished by collectors for their astonishingly modern and unembellished aesthetic, which simultaneously speak to a vastly different epoch in human history and the perennial beauty of these objects.


Quick Facts

  • The Maori people of New Zealand have long been revered for their wood carving abilities and continue to produce tribal sculptures that have a strong international market
  • In 2012, Christie's sold a figurative sculpture "Storyboard" from Papua New Guinea, standing just over three feet tall for more than $18,000
  • The people of the Pacific Islands have experienced cultural cross-pollination throughout their histories. The dialogue between these island communities is evident in the many commonalities that exist aesthetically in their arts and crafts traditions

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Papua New Guinea Wood Carved Flute
Dec 10, 10:00 AM MST
Papua New Guinea Wood Carved Flute
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
Large New Britain Tolai House Mask, Melanesia
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
Large New Britain Tolai House Mask, Melanesia
by Material Culture
Est: $300- $600
$1501 Bid
3 Bamboo Hunting and Fishing Spears, PNG
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
3 Bamboo Hunting and Fishing Spears, PNG
by Material Culture
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
A large Septik River, Papua New Guinea mask, 33 x 50 x 33 1/2 in. (83.82 x 127 x 85.09 cm.)
Dec 14, 9:00 PM PST
A large Septik River, Papua New Guinea mask, 33 x 50 x 33 1/2 in. (83.82 x 127 x 85.09 cm.)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $400- $600
$2801 Bid
A small Maori carved hardwood taiaha staff,
Dec 06, 10:00 AM GMT
A small Maori carved hardwood taiaha staff,
by Sworders
Est: £500- £700
£4001 Bid
necklace with tooth-shaped pendants from the Fiji …
Dec 17, 11:00 AM CET
necklace with tooth-shaped pendants from the Fiji …
by DVC
Est: €0- €0
€101 Bid
Kanu Abelam
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Kanu Abelam
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €2,000- €3,000
€2,0000 Bids
Kulthausfigur Yamsgeist
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Kulthausfigur Yamsgeist
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €240- €360
€2400 Bids
Kultmaske Yamsgeist
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Kultmaske Yamsgeist
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €240- €360
€2400 Bids
Mwai Maske Papua
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Mwai Maske Papua
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €180- €270
€1800 Bids
Papua Schnabelmaske,
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Papua Schnabelmaske,
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €200- €300
€2000 Bids
Schemel Holz.
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Schemel Holz.
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €300- €450
€3000 Bids
Sepik Hakenfigur
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Sepik Hakenfigur
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €240- €360
€2400 Bids
Sepik Papua Neu Guinea.
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Sepik Papua Neu Guinea.
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €120- €180
€1200 Bids
Trommel Papua
Dec 16, 10:00 AM CET
Trommel Papua
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €400- €600
€4000 Bids
Yina Upper Sepik River Figure Papua New Guinea
Dec 15, 11:00 AM EST
Yina Upper Sepik River Figure Papua New Guinea
by Willow Auction House
Est: $5,000- $7,000
$2,5000 Bids
Graphic Telefomin Drum, PNG
Dec 14, 10:00 AM EST
Graphic Telefomin Drum, PNG
by Material Culture
Est: $250- $500
$1250 Bids
Oceanic Carved Bird Mask
Dec 08, 10:00 AM EST
Oceanic Carved Bird Mask
by Nye & Company
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Papua New Guinea carved Wood Medicine Box, Snake devouring bird on the lid
Dec 18, 10:00 AM PST
Papua New Guinea carved Wood Medicine Box, Snake devouring bird on the lid
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $120- $150
$1000 Bids
Papua New Guinea Feasting Bowl / Tray carved raised traditional design
Dec 18, 10:00 AM PST
Papua New Guinea Feasting Bowl / Tray carved raised traditional design
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $250- $350
$2250 Bids
Papua New Guinea Votive Gope Ancestral Spirit Board, polychrome carved figural
Dec 18, 10:00 AM PST
Papua New Guinea Votive Gope Ancestral Spirit Board, polychrome carved figural
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $300- $500
$2750 Bids
Sepik River Papua New Guinea Mask, with tusks and cowrie shells, woven grass
Dec 18, 10:00 AM PST
Sepik River Papua New Guinea Mask, with tusks and cowrie shells, woven grass
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $400- $500
$3250 Bids
Papua New Guinea Carved Ancestral Spirit Gope Board, carved wood Tovei Village
Dec 18, 10:00 AM PST
Papua New Guinea Carved Ancestral Spirit Gope Board, carved wood Tovei Village
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $400- $500
$3250 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Pacific Islands


Nye & Company

Nye & Company

Artcurial

Artcurial

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen