Lot: 38

Figural flute stopper, around 1900

Papua New Guinea, Sawos

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Bruce Frank, New York, USA
Sam & Sharon Singer, San Francisco, USA
Michael Hamson, Palos Verdes, California, USA
H: 21.3 inch 3000 EUR / 5000 EUR

wood, pigment remains, shell material, base According to Michael Hamson, this stone-carved flute stopper of the Sawos culture is pre-contact, stone-carved and has obviously had a rough existence in the field prior to collection. Great bamboo flutes are amongst the most sacred and important objects of the clan. They are the voice of the spirits and must never be seen by women or uninitiated men. Flute stoppers were used to contain the ancestral spirits residing in the ceremonial bamboo flutes.

Meyer, Anthony J.P., Ozeanische Kunst, Vol. I, Köln 1995, p. 227, ill. 238