Lot: 16

95th Tribal Art Auction

Men's breast ornament

Papua New Guinea, North Coast, Aitape Region, Wawapu

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
German Collection, Berlin H: 9.4 inch;
B: 8.7 inch
500 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

rattan, boar tusks, nassa snails, resin (originally set with Abrus precatorius), This breast ornament was part of a festive costume, but was also used as war ornament. It is possible, that the compact shield-shaped ornament did not only have an amulet-like effect but also offered real protection against arrows.

Heermann, Ingrid & Ulrich Menter, Schmuck der Südsee, München 1990, p. 60, ill. 6