47
47

OCEANIC ART FROM THE ESTATE OF LYNDA CUNNINGHAM

Breadfruit Adze, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Estimate
2,0003,000
LOT SOLD. 16,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
47

OCEANIC ART FROM THE ESTATE OF LYNDA CUNNINGHAM

Breadfruit Adze, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Estimate
2,0003,000
LOT SOLD. 16,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York

Breadfruit Adze, Tahiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia

Provenance

Lynda Cunningham, New York

Catalogue Note

An engraving of a similar breadfruit adze or splitter appears in William Ellis, Polynesian Researches, 1859, vol. I, p. 177; it may be one of the two adzes illustrated in W. O. Oldman, 'The Oldman Collection of Polynesian Artifacts', Memoirs of the Polynesian Society, vol. 15, 1943, pl. 4, cat. no. 377, described as 'from an old missionary collection', and now in the Otago Museum, Dunedin. Gundolf Krüger observes that the provenance of the two Oldman adzes suggests that these objects 'were still in existence upon the arrival of the first missionaries' in 1797.

The present adze bears a close resemblance to one in the British Museum, London (acc. no. Oc.7972; donated in 1873 by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks), although that specimen lacks the hole which is pierced through the handle of the present adze. This hole suggests that a plaited cord with half a tiger cowrie shell, used as a scraper, was formerly attached. A similar attachment can be seen on a breadfruit splitter collected between 1821-1824 by the missionary George Bennet, formerly in the collection of James Hooper (Phelps, Art and Artefacts of the Pacific, Africa and the Americas, 1976, p. 117, pl. 59, no. 485).

Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

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New York