Lot 119
  • 119

Shield, Maluku Islands, Indonesia

5,000 - 7,000 USD
6,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • Wood; shell (haliotis iris)


Swedish Private Collection
Clive Loveless, London, acquired from the above
Private Collection, London, acquired by the present owner from the above

Catalogue Note

Modeled in the shape of an elongated hourglass and geometrically inlaid with dozens of luminous abalone shells, this salawaku shield from the island of Ceram was used in a dance ceremony performed by men in preparation for battle. Located in the center of the Moluccas archipelago, Ceram is a mountainous island whose residents are of mixed Malay and Papuan descent. Starting in the seventeenth century, Ceram was visited by Dutch, Chinese, and other traders, who brought Christian and Islamic influences upon local culture. For a closely related example previously in the collections of Morris J. Pinto and Alain Schoffel, see Chaffin and Chaffin, ed., Arts Primitifs de L’Asie du Sud-est, Paris, 1982, pl. 93, p. 104.