Lot No. 77


The Monzino Uli Lembankakat Mbaru New Ireland 17th to 19th century.


Hard wood, 81 cm. In 1908, this Uli figure was collected, with four small similar statues, in the Northern villages on the coast by the renowned researcher Edgar Walden, "They are treated with great secrecy, carefully wrapped in leaves and coco fiber to be transported. The porters slip behind the houses and whisper, if women see the statues, they will die." Ulis are the most sought after figures from the pacific. Used from the start by European artists to find inspiration, both by surrealists and expressionists. These expressive figures will always attract, being both aggressively forward and mysteriously distant. The large head with broadly striped beard, the elaborate coiffure with the helmet like crest, black and white pigments that emphasize the large eyes. A broad grinning mouth, showing a row of closed teeth. They have an unusual stocky build, a powerful torso with short legs. The circled breasts create a clear contrast with the outer masculine expression. There are two types of Uli found during the most famous of the colonial expedition, the one from the Augustin Kramer; mostly larger figures and a few considerably smaller ones as the one presented here. This mysterious tradition died out somewhere shortly after this publication and even with the extensive research done, little is known about the origin of these monumental figures. The large Uli statues were well protected and wrapped in leaves, mostly showing fresh coats of lime. The small ones were found in the rafters, often with a thick layer of sooth. These small Uli figures are made of a very hard, dense wood and are the oldest known figures from the New Ireland archipelago, probably dating back to the 17th and 18th century.

These figures probably represent mythological leaders, or are the symbol, showing the attribution necessary to be a good leader. The large clenched teeth refer to an aggressive stance, a positive force to defend the tribe and a necessary. The meaning of the breasts is an enigma, we assume that it refers to the leader's capacity to nurture as well as defend the tribe. It can also refer to a matrilineal prove of lineage. Ä1Ü Krämer (1925, pp. 60-61), after working with owners of uli figures in the Madak region in 1909, concluded that the 'breasts' are indicative of a well-fed leader and may have some association with fertility rites.

Provenance
Collected in situ in 1909, German Naval Expedition in New Ireland from November 1908 to June 1909. Collection Carlo Monzino, Milan. With original photos from Carrieri.

Published
A. Kramer 'Die Málanggane von Tómbara', München, 1925, Page 24, third figure on the right.Ä1Ü Krämer 1925.

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

Joris.Visser@dorotheum.com

21.06.2018 - 17:00

Realized price: **
EUR 1,425,000.-
Estimate:
EUR 150,000.- to EUR 180,000.-

The Monzino Uli Lembankakat Mbaru New Ireland 17th to 19th century.


Hard wood, 81 cm. In 1908, this Uli figure was collected, with four small similar statues, in the Northern villages on the coast by the renowned researcher Edgar Walden, "They are treated with great secrecy, carefully wrapped in leaves and coco fiber to be transported. The porters slip behind the houses and whisper, if women see the statues, they will die." Ulis are the most sought after figures from the pacific. Used from the start by European artists to find inspiration, both by surrealists and expressionists. These expressive figures will always attract, being both aggressively forward and mysteriously distant. The large head with broadly striped beard, the elaborate coiffure with the helmet like crest, black and white pigments that emphasize the large eyes. A broad grinning mouth, showing a row of closed teeth. They have an unusual stocky build, a powerful torso with short legs. The circled breasts create a clear contrast with the outer masculine expression. There are two types of Uli found during the most famous of the colonial expedition, the one from the Augustin Kramer; mostly larger figures and a few considerably smaller ones as the one presented here. This mysterious tradition died out somewhere shortly after this publication and even with the extensive research done, little is known about the origin of these monumental figures. The large Uli statues were well protected and wrapped in leaves, mostly showing fresh coats of lime. The small ones were found in the rafters, often with a thick layer of sooth. These small Uli figures are made of a very hard, dense wood and are the oldest known figures from the New Ireland archipelago, probably dating back to the 17th and 18th century.

These figures probably represent mythological leaders, or are the symbol, showing the attribution necessary to be a good leader. The large clenched teeth refer to an aggressive stance, a positive force to defend the tribe and a necessary. The meaning of the breasts is an enigma, we assume that it refers to the leader's capacity to nurture as well as defend the tribe. It can also refer to a matrilineal prove of lineage. Ä1Ü Krämer (1925, pp. 60-61), after working with owners of uli figures in the Madak region in 1909, concluded that the 'breasts' are indicative of a well-fed leader and may have some association with fertility rites.

Provenance
Collected in situ in 1909, German Naval Expedition in New Ireland from November 1908 to June 1909. Collection Carlo Monzino, Milan. With original photos from Carrieri.

Published
A. Kramer 'Die Málanggane von Tómbara', München, 1925, Page 24, third figure on the right.Ä1Ü Krämer 1925.

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

Joris.Visser@dorotheum.com


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kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Auction: Tribal Art
Date: 21.06.2018 - 17:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 16.06. - 21.06.2018


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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