Lot 36
  • 36

Maori Long Club, New Zealand

4,000 - 6,000 USD
12,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • wood, paua abalone (haliotis iris)


Lieut. Robert W. H. Hardy, R.N. (1794-1871), Bath, reportedly collected in situ circa 1820
James Hooper, Arundel
Christie's, London, Hawaiian and Maori Art from the James Hooper Collection, June 21, 1977, lot 37 (part)
Lynda Cunningham, New York, acquired at the above auction


Steven Phelps, Art and Artefacts of the Pacific, Africa and the Americas: the James Hooper Collection, London, 1976, p. 58, pl. 26, no. 227

Catalogue Note

The taiaha was the most widely favored of the three types of two-handed long clubs used by Maori. The pointed end is in the form of a carved tongue sticking out from an open mouth. This gesture was 'a ritualized challenge given by Maori warriors, and thus the form of the weapon is connected to one of its aggressive functions' (Hooper, Pacific Encounters, London, 2006, p. 141).

The present taiaha is unusually long; the British Museum's large collection of Maori long clubs contains only one of similar scale (inv. no. Q1980 OC.1276, purchased from the United Service Institution Museum).