SPIRIT FIGURE
SPIRIT FIGURE
SPIRIT FIGURE
58

SPIRIT FIGURE

Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 USD

SPIRIT FIGURE

Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 USD

Lot Sold:11,875USD

Lot Details

Description

SPIRIT FIGURE


Probably Era River, Gulf of Papua, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea

Wood, pigments

Height: 20 ¼ in (51.4 cm)

Condition Report

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Cataloguing

Provenance

Harry A. Franklin, Beverly Hills, acquired by 1963


PUBLISHED

George R. Ellis, Oceanic Art: A Celebration of Form, San Diego, 2009, p. 40, cat. no. 19

Exhibited

Salt Lake Art Center, New Guinea Primitive Art: The Harry Franklin Collection, 1963

San Diego Museum of Art, Oceanic Art: A Celebration of Form, January 31, 2009 - January 3, 2010

Catalogue Note

Canoes were, and are, ubiquitous in the Papuan Gulf. Most of the spirit boards and figures that were collected in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were created from pieces of old canoes. (Welsch, Webb, and Haraha, Coaxing the Spirits to Dance: Art and Society in the Papuan Gulf of New Guinea, Hanover, 2006, pp. 13-14). Such may be the case for this spirit figure, as the concave shape of the piece of wood from which it is carved may suggest. 


Another common element present in most spirit figures is the navel. These are usually the focal point of such pieces and represent an essential anatomical characteristic. The navel present on this piece is prominent and is emphasized by the white design that surrounds it. The feature was believed to animate the board and the spirit that inhabited it. (ibid., p. 16)

Pacific Art from the Collection of Harry A. Franklin
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