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Čís. položky 98


An Exceptional 18th Century Tonga Spear


Wood, fibres, 256 cm long. Like the Tonga spear in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, this is one of the earliest Tongan spears ever collected (probably on the Cook voyages of the 1770s). Fijian and Tongan weaponry is most often represented in museum collections by clubs, so historic spears are quite rare to find. Tongan clubs and spears were clearly influenced by Fijian counterparts, which makes it often difficult to accurately place them. Like the Melanesian spears, this grand spear shows multiple barbs, a downward thickening of the shaft and a finely woven centre where the spear is balanced. This distinguished mark of the spear is the fibrous weaving so that it can be placed directly in a perfect position in the hand. The purpose of such weapons was to incapacitate. The point would pierce the belly and the barbs would tear and stretch the flesh to cause internal damage. Some of the barbs on this spear are damaged, implying that it was probably used, besides being an object of prestige, in warfare. The collector, Bart Suys, a son of a Belgian colonial official, studied Ethnographic Art at the University of Ghent and now works in the Royal Museum for Art and History in Brussels. In 1987 Bart Suys organised the exhibition "Captain Cook and the South Paczific", followed by the exhibition "Mangbetu - African Court Art from Belgian Private Collections" (1992) and the famous exhibition "Lega Ethics and Beauty in the Heart of Africa"(2002). His eclectic collection is centred around a fine sense of aesthetics, with a choice of objects that have pure and graphic forms.

Provenance:
Old Belgian collection;
Alain Guisson, Brussels;
Bart Suys, Brussels.

Reference:
Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford Engraving in James Cook's journal of his second South Seas voyage (1772-1775).

CF: for an image of a similar spear see “Te po, a Chief of Rarotonga” by John Williams in "A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands", 1837

Expert: Joris Visser Joris Visser
+32-2-514 00 34

Joris.Visser@dorotheum.com

13.10.2022 - 17:27

Dosažená cena: **
EUR 23.040,-
Odhadní cena:
EUR 22.000,- do EUR 25.000,-
Vyvolávací cena:
EUR 18.000,-

An Exceptional 18th Century Tonga Spear


Wood, fibres, 256 cm long. Like the Tonga spear in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, this is one of the earliest Tongan spears ever collected (probably on the Cook voyages of the 1770s). Fijian and Tongan weaponry is most often represented in museum collections by clubs, so historic spears are quite rare to find. Tongan clubs and spears were clearly influenced by Fijian counterparts, which makes it often difficult to accurately place them. Like the Melanesian spears, this grand spear shows multiple barbs, a downward thickening of the shaft and a finely woven centre where the spear is balanced. This distinguished mark of the spear is the fibrous weaving so that it can be placed directly in a perfect position in the hand. The purpose of such weapons was to incapacitate. The point would pierce the belly and the barbs would tear and stretch the flesh to cause internal damage. Some of the barbs on this spear are damaged, implying that it was probably used, besides being an object of prestige, in warfare. The collector, Bart Suys, a son of a Belgian colonial official, studied Ethnographic Art at the University of Ghent and now works in the Royal Museum for Art and History in Brussels. In 1987 Bart Suys organised the exhibition "Captain Cook and the South Paczific", followed by the exhibition "Mangbetu - African Court Art from Belgian Private Collections" (1992) and the famous exhibition "Lega Ethics and Beauty in the Heart of Africa"(2002). His eclectic collection is centred around a fine sense of aesthetics, with a choice of objects that have pure and graphic forms.

Provenance:
Old Belgian collection;
Alain Guisson, Brussels;
Bart Suys, Brussels.

Reference:
Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford Engraving in James Cook's journal of his second South Seas voyage (1772-1775).

CF: for an image of a similar spear see “Te po, a Chief of Rarotonga” by John Williams in "A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands", 1837

Expert: Joris Visser Joris Visser
+32-2-514 00 34

Joris.Visser@dorotheum.com


Horká linka kupujících Po-Pá: 10.00 - 17.00
kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Aukce: Mimoevropské a domorodé umění
Datum: 13.10.2022 - 17:27
Místo konání aukce: Wien | Palais Dorotheum
Prohlídka: 06.10. - 13.10. 2022


** Kupní cena vč. poplatku kupujícího a DPH

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