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Lot No. 97


A Finely Decorated Austral Islands Paddle 19th Century


Wood, 114,5 cm long. These finely decorated paddles can be found on the Tubuai or Austral Islands. The round handles show a group of conjoined stylised human figures. 'The beauty of the carving of the blades and shafts of the implements here illustrated is not due to a variety in the elements of the design, but due to their tasteful grouping and to the precision with which the carving is executed. The elements are few, consisting - first- of chevrons placed, sometimes, in simple rows, but more often opposed and conjoined in such a way as to form rows or tiers of lozenges bisected by straight lines. These are the last vestiges of the legs and arms of the more realistically represented figures of the butts. Then there are groups of superimposed small demilunes, representing either the 'cocked hats' of the realistic figures, their crescent shaped thighs, or, perhaps their eyes, are often represented by such markings below the raised discs on the forehead. A third element is the rosette which was referred to in the description of the figures. Finally, the panels, large or small, in which these elements are grouped, are usually outlined with the shark's tooth ornament, which defines the contours of the realistic figures also. Out of these few units of design, grouped in simple combinations, the masterpieces of the collection, were wrought by craftsmen who had at their disposal, in the best period of their art, no more efficient tools than they could fashion out of stone and shell and the teeth of the fish which fittingly lent its name to a characteristic detail of their storied scheme of decoration'. Henry Usher Hall, "Wood Carvings of the Austral Islands", The Museum Journal XII, no. 3 (September 1921), p. 179- 199.

Provenance:
Francois Coppens, St. Niklaas.

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

Joris.Visser@dorotheum.com

13.10.2022 - 17:25

Estimate:
EUR 6,000.- to EUR 8,000.-
Starting bid:
EUR 5,000.-

A Finely Decorated Austral Islands Paddle 19th Century


Wood, 114,5 cm long. These finely decorated paddles can be found on the Tubuai or Austral Islands. The round handles show a group of conjoined stylised human figures. 'The beauty of the carving of the blades and shafts of the implements here illustrated is not due to a variety in the elements of the design, but due to their tasteful grouping and to the precision with which the carving is executed. The elements are few, consisting - first- of chevrons placed, sometimes, in simple rows, but more often opposed and conjoined in such a way as to form rows or tiers of lozenges bisected by straight lines. These are the last vestiges of the legs and arms of the more realistically represented figures of the butts. Then there are groups of superimposed small demilunes, representing either the 'cocked hats' of the realistic figures, their crescent shaped thighs, or, perhaps their eyes, are often represented by such markings below the raised discs on the forehead. A third element is the rosette which was referred to in the description of the figures. Finally, the panels, large or small, in which these elements are grouped, are usually outlined with the shark's tooth ornament, which defines the contours of the realistic figures also. Out of these few units of design, grouped in simple combinations, the masterpieces of the collection, were wrought by craftsmen who had at their disposal, in the best period of their art, no more efficient tools than they could fashion out of stone and shell and the teeth of the fish which fittingly lent its name to a characteristic detail of their storied scheme of decoration'. Henry Usher Hall, "Wood Carvings of the Austral Islands", The Museum Journal XII, no. 3 (September 1921), p. 179- 199.

Provenance:
Francois Coppens, St. Niklaas.

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: 13.10.2022 - 17:25
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 06.10. - 13.10. 2022