ELEGANT 19TH C. MARQUESAS ISLAND PRESTIGE PADDLE "HOE"
Origin: Polynesia, Marquesas Island (Provenance: Ex. Collection Robert Clayton Tulip, United Kingdom. By descent through the family. Acquired in the 19th century.)
Period/Date: Possibly 1860-1880?
Materials: medium to heavy hardwood, indigenous applied stain
Description: It is completely carved having very tight carving with beautiful herringbone patterns showing old world craftsmanship! The carving is tight enough in some areas, a rat tooth was likely used. It shows very little transitional influence suggesting it is quite old. The back to back figures at the top of the handle terminal are classic. The inventive and skilled artist who made it, shows his work in the shaft. Some figures along the shaft are quite abstract and some looking to be morphing, yet others are very traditional. There are 16 figures total, 1 pair of eyes and a single large eye on the face of the paddle. I believe the early undecorated paddles were actually used as canoe paddles and steering. This example, being so fine and meticulously carved, is in the prestige category, likely owned by someone of high rank. There is extensive wear and patina on the shaft below the blade from constant handling and the color is richer in that area. Its birdhead-like rudder projection is elegantly formed and decorated with beautiful geometric carving. Its in very good condition for its age and has no restoration, just an old glued mend to the side of the blade (all original wood). It has good color and use patina. The overall quality of this example exceeds anything I've seen on the market in a long time. Spender, prestige and charm all in one.
A custom stand maybe ordered for a fee.
Dimensions: Length 60.5" (153.5 cm), Width 6.5" (16.5 cm)
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