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19th C. Polynesian Admiralty Islands Obsidian Knife

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Lot 0097 Details

Description
Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Admiralty Islands, Manus Province, ca. 19th century CE. An intriguing obsidian-bladed knife (known locally as a gudom or katjo) with a paranarium nut resin handle colored with earthy red, charcoal, and lime powder pigment. The knapped blade has sharpened edges and tapers to one side before terminating in a pointed tip. The resinous handle wraps around one end of the blade and exhibits a soft yet textured feel that facilitates the grip of its wielder. Incised linear and zigzagging motifs decorate both sides of the handle. Lucite display stand for photography purposes only. Size: 9.6" L x 1.875" W (24.4 cm x 4.8 cm)

For a stylistically similar example, please see The British Museum, museum number Oc1928,0314.54

For another stylistically similar example with a figural handle, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 1978.412.752

Provenance: private Honolulu, Hawaii, USA collection

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#149546
Condition
Nicks to handle and blade, with small chips to blade edges, and several petite hairline fissures on handle, otherwise intact and very good. Nice remains of pigment on handle.
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19th C. Polynesian Admiralty Islands Obsidian Knife

Estimate $900 - $1,400Jul 09, 2020
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