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9

Whale Tooth Necklace, Fiji

Restricted Species

Estimate:

18,000

to
- 20,000 USD

Property from an American Private Collection

Whale Tooth Necklace, Fiji

Whale Tooth Necklace, Fiji

Estimate:

18,000

to
- 20,000 USD

Lot sold:

56,700

USD

Property from an American Private Collection

Whale Tooth Necklace, Fiji


Longest tooth: 4 ½ in (11.5 cm); shortest tooth: 3 ⅜ in (8.5 cm)

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Johann Theodor Kleinschmidt (1834-1881), collected in the 1870s
Museum Godeffroy, Hamburg
Museum für Völkerkunde, Leipzig (inv. no. Me 6058), presumably acquired from the above
Wayne Heathcote, New York
American Private Collection, acquired from the above in 1994

Fergus Clunie notes that necklaces “composed of a graduated series of whole Sperm Whale teeth were amongst the most prized valuables in Viti [Fiji].” (Fergus Clunie, Yalo i Viti: a Fiji Museum Catalogue, Suva, 1986, p. 159).


A very similar necklace, also with cloth binding, from the collection of W. O. Oldman, the great English dealer and collector, is now in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (inv. no. OL002129/1; illustrated in W. O. Oldman, The Oldman Collection of Polynesian Artifacts, Auckland, 2004, pl. 63, cat. no. 598b).