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Lot 0277
20th century AD. A wooden figure of a bird with black painted head with brown and white for the eyes; notch to the top for insertion of separate beak, feather to the back of the head; long body painted with stripes and dots to the upper side in ochre, black and white, to the lower black and white stripes, to the end of the body a triangular section with dot pattern; large wings back against the body decorated to the outside with ochre, black and white stripes with dot pattern, to the inside ovals against a dark ochre background with ochre, black and white circles and dot patterns to the centre. See Jelinek, J. The Great Art of the Early Australians: The Study of the Evolution and Role of Rock Art in the Society of Australian Hunters and Gatherers, Brno, 1989. Isaacs, J. Tiwi, Melbourne, 2012. 1.47 kg, 41.5cm (16 1/4"). Property of a European collector; formerly from the collection of Prof. RNDr. Jan Jelínek, DrSc., anthropologist, and Director of the Moravian museum, and the president of the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) for eight years; thence by descent 2004; collected by Professor Jelínek during the Moravian Museum expedition collaboration with Department of Aboriginal studies in Canberra, to Arhnem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia, in 1969; from Tiwi Island, Australia. Accompanied by copies of expedition photographs, map and Dr Jelinek's biography. The Tiwi Islands are eighty kilometres north of Darwin, where the Arafura and Timor Seas meet. They are comprised of Melville and Bathurst Islands and are Australia’s second and fifth largest islands respectively. Contemporary Tiwi artists draw on the elaborate decoration of traditional ceremonies, including painting patterns on the body, carving and decorating ceremonial hollow log funeral poles, the creation of elaborate head-dresses and other body adornments, weaving and printmaking borne from the tradition of ceremonial Pukamani poles. Tiwi art differs from that of the people of nearby Arnhem Land in its vibrant colour and emphasis on pattern. [A video of this lot is available on the TimeLine Auctions website]


Very fine condition. Rare.

Buyer's Premium

  • 29%

Aboriginal Tiwi Island Painted Bird

Estimate £1,200 - £1,700Nov 21, 2017
23-24 Berkeley Square
London, W1J 6HE
United Kingdom
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