SPIRIT FIGURE
SPIRIT FIGURE
SPIRIT FIGURE
59

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: 21 ¾ in (55.3 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. 18

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

Spirit boards were not simply static representations of spirits, but were believed to be inhabited by them as well. The carvers of these pieces communicated movement in a variety of ways. In particular, Elema carvers used special techniques to evoke movement and vibrancy. This spirit board is an excellent example of their skill. Here, the left kneecap appears higher than the right, which is meant to represent motion (Welsch, Webb, and Haraha, Coaxing the Spirits to Dance: Art and Society in the Papuan Gulf of New Guinea, Hanover, 2006, p. 13). Similarly, one elbow is slightly raised in comparison to the other and the figure looks to be leaning on his left leg, as if dancing in celebration. 

Pacific Art from the Collection of Harry A. Franklin
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