Lot 4 - The Todd Barlin Collection - Sale AS0213


Lot 4
A Superb Ancient Barava, Western Solomon Islands, 18th Century or earlier; mostly complete with two large and
impressive figures standing on circular base. The shell is very thick
and with an ancient patina of the oldest types of these objects have; on a custom made display stand.

Provenance: Tebbenham Collection; Tebbenham was on the Navy Ship the HSM Mohawk 1898 on a punitive expedition to the Western Solomon Islands due to head hunting raids on the neighbouring Islands.
Ex BL Hornshaw Collection (1878-1937); Hornshaw was an avid collector of Pacific and Australian Aboriginal artefacts, he received many of his pieces from people who lived and worked in the Pacific in the late 19th Century.

The most complex clam shell objects were barava, ornate openwork plaques created in the western Solomon Islands. The designs on some barava are geometric, but many include stylized human figures interspersed with forms that resemble faces, shown with spiral eyes and grinning mouths filled with minute teeth. Barava appear to have been associated with burial places and were reportedly used to adorn structures housing the skulls of prominent men, slain enemies or placed on graves. In the past, some barava formed part of vovoso, powerful charms carried in war canoes during head hunting expeditions to protect the crew and ensure success.
20 x 16cm
Estimate $ 1,500-2,000

Sold for $3,800

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