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Lot 0668
**Originally Listed At $1000**

Papua New Guinea, Middle Sepik River, early-mid 20th century CE. A gorgeous headdress made from woven brown and reddish-brown fibers and hundreds of cowrie shells. A single, huge bailer shell (from a melo amphora snail) hangs from the bottom of the headdress, pale with hues of orange and yellow around its edges. The headdress is openwork, with criss-crossing woven fibers covered in smaller cowrie shells, and a thicker, central woven fiber line down the center, this one coated with larger cowrie shells and punctuated by tufts of reddish and orange dyed grasses. One end folds over to cover the head and settle around the forehead. Size when worn: 33.95" L x 9" W (86.2 cm x 22.9 cm)

Traditionally this type of ceremonial headdress also served as a form of currency and for that reason they were often included in wedding dowries. The monetary value related to the number of specific shells used. This headdress is a fascinating decorative piece that can still be worn if you want to make a dramatic entrance!

Provenance: collection of the late Alfred E. Stendahl, Stendahl Gallery, Los Angeles, California, USA

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

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Bailer shell has small loss from one end. Really nice aged patina on surface of shells. Small snags to woven fibers but headdress is completely intact.

Starting Bid


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Early 20th C. PNG Woven Fiber / Shell Headdress

Estimate $1,500 - $2,250
$6500 bids
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