IATMUL SPEAR THROWER (MINO TYPE)
Middle Sepik River, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Wood, pigments, fiber
Length: 42 ½ in (105.4 cm)
Excellent condition for an object of this type and age. General marks, nicks, scratches and abrasions consistent with age and use. Exceptionally fine crusty layered aged patina, with glossy wear in places, and crusty remains of white and rose colored pigments. Fragile remains of fiber attachments as shown in the catalogue illustration. Minor age cracks and a hole with open age cracks and small losses towards the bottom terminal. Old masking tape label inscribed in pen "1832/GNUE."
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Harry A. Franklin, Beverly Hills, acquired by the 1960s
As Friede notes, "elaborately decorated spear throwers (the mino type) were not actually meant to be used in warfare. They were employed in initiation ceremonies where they were part of the 'splendid outfit of the initiates for the various rituals which concluded the period of initiation'." (Friede, ed., New Guinea Art: Masterpieces from the Jolika Collection of Marcia and John Friede, 2005, Vol. 2, p. 117, text to cat. no. 217).