Christopher Gray published the present work in his 1963 monograph on Gauguin’s sculpture and ceramics, and athough he did not formally attribute the work to Gauguin, he explored Ward’s theory that the mystery coconut carver may indeed have been the great artist.
In 1980 the work was sold at Christie's in New York, and a confusion at the time meant that the work was catalogued as being by Paul Gauguin - using Gray’s monograph as the supporting evidence for the attribution. The attribution has since been disputed, but the work remains a fascinating and joyous piece of folk art whose history has been bizarrely entwined with one of history’s greatest artists.
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