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Lot 0125
Papua New Guinea, Sepik River region, ca. 20th century CE. An amusing phallus sheath (or koteka) woven from multiple strands of fibrous material. It has a conical base, a bulbous body, and a flared rim. A peripheral flap folded downwards along the rim reveals an abstract face with shells for eyes, a looped nose, perky ears, and an ovoid mouth. One ear has a hanging adornment of small seeds and a betel nut, and the face and body are embellished in a cinnabar-red hue. Sheaths like these were used by almost every male in PNG societies, though the size of the sheath did not indicate societal status. Smaller sheaths were typically used during work-related tasks, and larger examples during festivals and times of celebration. Size: 5.5" H (14 cm).

Provenance: ex-private Tucson, Arizona, USA collection; ex-Ron Perry collection; Ron Perry collected art and artifacts for more than 40 years in New Guinea and the South Pacific. He collaborated with Carolyn Leigh to write a book entitled, "Art Dealer in the Last Unknown: Ron Perry & New Guinea Art: the early years 1964-1972" (2011).’’

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Age-commensurate surface wear, light fraying to woven strands and surface pigmentation, otherwise intact and very good.

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20th C. Papua New Guinea Woven Phallus Sheath - Koteka

Estimate $300 - $450Jan 18, 2018