Gable Mask off a Ceremonial House Tambaran, Blackwater River Area, East Sepik Province, PNG. Collected in the early 1960s

In the early 20th Century across the Sepik River area spectacular ceremonial houses were found in almost every village. They are known as ‘Haus tambaran’ in New Guinea pidgin English. These amazing ceremonial houses embody the paramount female ancestor whose enormous face appears on the gable and whose name is given to the house.

Clans descending from a common ancestor build the ceremonial houses where ceremonial objects are stored. Only men who are initiated are permitted inside the house Tambaran.  During ritual ceremonies, the house becomes ‘hot’, indicating the presence of spirits.

Gable masks were placed high above the entrance of the ceremonial houses. Intended to be seen from a distance, their placement at the exterior apex of the large and imposing ceremonial house would loom downwards over the nearby dance ground where everyone could feel its presence.

This beautiful older Gable Mask is carved from a single large piece of hardwood & then painted & decorated with woven & wood attachments and a type of native fruit often used in Sepik Ceremonies.

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Gable Mask off a Ceremonial House Tambaran, Blackwater River Area, East Sepik Province, PNG

In the early 20th Century across the Sepik River area spectacular ceremonial houses were found in almost every village. They are known as ‘Haus tambaran’ in New Guinea pidgin English. These amazing ceremonial houses embody the paramount female ancestor whose enormous face appears on the gable and whose name is given to the house.

Clans descending from a common ancestor build the ceremonial houses where ceremonial objects are stored. Only men who are initiated are permitted inside the house Tambaran.  During ritual ceremonies, the house becomes ‘hot’, indicating the presence of spirits.

Gable masks were placed high above the entrance of the ceremonial houses. Intended to be seen from a distance, their placement at the exterior apex of the large and imposing ceremonial house would loom downwards over the nearby dance ground where everyone could feel its presence.

This beautiful Gable Mask is made from sago spathe over a bamboo frame & then painted & decorated with woven & wood attachments.

Collected by Peter Austin in 1965-1966

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If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

For all enquires, please contact us.

Large Gable Mask off a Ceremonial House Tambaran, Middle Sepik River Area

Provenance: Collected by Peter Hallinan in the early 1970’s

In the early 20th Century across the Sepik River area spectacular ceremonial houses were found in almost every village. They are known as ‘Haus tambaran’ in New Guinea pidgin English. These amazing ceremonial houses embody the paramount female ancestor whose enormous face appears on the gable and whose name is given to the house.

Clans descending from a common ancestor build the ceremonial houses where ceremonial objects are stored. Only men who are initiated are permitted inside the house Tambaran.  During ritual ceremonies, the house becomes ‘hot’, indicating the presence of spirits.

Gable masks were placed high above the entrance of the ceremonial houses. Intended to be seen from a distance, their placement at the exterior apex of the large and imposing ceremonial house would loom downwards over the nearby dance ground where everyone could feel its presence.

This beautiful Gable Mask is made from sago spathe over a bamboo frame & then painted & decorated with woven attachments.

ENQUIRE HERE

 

If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

For all enquires, please contact us.

Oceanic Arts Pacifica – Artworks from the Todd Barlin Collection

This Exhibition was held in conjunction with the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney, Australia in 2014.

The catalogue is available for $35 AUD Plus postage to your destination.

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(Oceanic Arts Pacifica Exhibition in Casula Powerhouse Art Centre #1)

 

(Oceanic Arts Pacifica Exhibition in Casula Powerhouse Art Centre #2)

 

(Oceanic Arts Pacifica Exhibition in Casula Powerhouse Art Centre #3)

Spirit Dog Figure, Holik Village, Yangoru / Boiken Area East Sepik Province , PNG

The artist has used the woods natural shape to help create this beautiful stylized spirit dog figure.

This important Cult House Spirit Figure was photographed insitu by Douglas Newton ( Former Curator of Oceanic Art at The MET NY) on August 8 1970, the photo was published in “Oceanic Art by Kaeppler, Kaufmann & Newton 1990 Page 573

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If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

For all enquires, please contact us.

 

A Collection of three Antique Japanese Natrual Form Wood Okinomo (an object or ornament of beauty to display)

The Japanese aesthetic of using natural forms in wood with minimal additions by the artist are some of the most beautiful objects in my collection.   The one on the far left is a lidded box for tobacco that has signed & dated Kanji

The middle object is a root-wood Okinomo from the late 19th Century that the artist has added only a tiny bit of carving to make the snake head. The snake revered in Japanese culture was associated with medicinal rites and remedies. As a symbol of good luck, it was also though to bring good health and embodies regeneration, healing, and medicine.

The far right Burl-wood Okinimo is in the form of a gourd, in Japan, the gourd is often associated with divinity and is often found in many regional folk tales stemming from Taoist beliefs. Its curvaceous shape is commonly met with affection as a symbol of good luck, good health and prosperity.

These three objects placed together in any order bring a sense of wonder & joy.

In Zen philosophy there are seven aesthetic principles for achieving Wabi-Sabi as listed below;

Fukinsei (不均斉): asymmetry, irregularity;

Kanso (簡素): simplicity;

Koko (考古): basic, weathered;

Shizen (自然): without pretense, natural;

Yugen (幽玄): subtly profound grace, not obvious;

Datsuzoku (脱俗): unbounded by convention, free;

A Collection of three Headrests from the Tufi District Oro Province of the North Coast of Papua New Guinea.

These three finely carved Neckrests from the Tufi area are called Gira Kukai in the local dialect and are an iconic object from this area. They were used by both Men & Women when sleeping so as not to disturb their finely coiffured hair styles.

The openwork geometric designs remind me of small architectural models.

They are  quite unique in being different heights & widths and two of these have incised geometrical designs on the base.

One has to wonder if the person who was going to use the headrest requested a specific height or width for their maximum comfort just as when we shop for just the right pillow height.

All three of theses neckrests are well used and date from the late 19th to early 20th Century.

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If you have a similar “object” for sale please contact me for the best price and honest advice by a Government approved valuer 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

For all enquires, please contact us.

A Collection of 7 Antique Chinese Burl wood Tobacco cases & a circular Chinese Belt Toggle from the 19th Century

Each of these old tobacco cases are beautiful forms with deep old patina from handling . The top right object in the photo is a round belt toggle made from burl wood & on the concave interior is a carved a lucky gourd where the string or rope would attach it to ones belt sash and robe.   These tobacco cases are rare, in the 40 years of collecting I only found these 7 pieces.  Every culture in the world makes small objects of beauty that are used and handled daily & admired by others. These tobacco cases are a great example of this, the simple elegant forms made from a beautiful type of wood that only looks better as it ages from use.  I am sure there must be more information about these Tobacco Cases and their forms, if you know of any other information about them, please let me know.

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A Collection of 22 Japanese Smoking Implements, 19th to early 20th Century

The Portuguese introduced tobacco in Japan in the second half of the sixteenth century. The Japanese were particularly surprised to see the Portuguese smoking pipes and spitting out smoke and would have exclaimed “The Southern Barbarians have a fire in their belly!”

Tobacco was quickly adopted by the Japanese people by the end of the sixteenth century, the Kerisu or Smoking Pipes, were used as the only way to smoke tobacco in Japan and it they would remain that way for the next three centuries, until the Meiji Restoration (1868), when cigarettes arrived in Japan and became very popular.

The smoking implements needed to smoke while outside or travelling were a set consisting of a pouch to hold the tobacco called TONKOTSU  and the Pipe or Kerisu & its holder.  Tobacco pouches were usually beautifully decorated and with delicate metal clasps to close the pouch, they also had a Netsuke on the end of a small chain or string so as to tuck into the traditional sash called (Obi). Japanese robes did not have pockets & that is why their tobacco smoking sets were tucked into their sash.

A young Japanese woman lighting her Kiseru, by Th. Stevens (1886)  (source : www.japanbiking.com)

The Edo period (1603-1868) that precedes the development of cigarettes in Japan was the heyday of Kiseru Pipes & Tobacco smoking paraphernalia.  In the Edo period there was in the high society a ” Tobacco Ceremony” or ” The Way of Tobacco” (tabako-dō 烟草道), similar to the Japanese “Tea Ceremony”  where rules of politeness and decorum were fixed and there were procedures or good manners to give and receive the Kiseru pipes when smoking with company.  It became very fashionable to have a silver Kiseru and beautiful Tobacco Case and  it was an essential fashion accessory for young people from rich houses.

There is even a Kiseru Festival that happens every year on the first Sunday of September in Ibaraki region.  The “Kiseru Matsuri”  Ceremony in which men carry a huge Kiseru Pipe up to three meters long associated with Shinto rituals. This festival is held every year on Mount Kaba-san, in Ishioka since 1954, after the tobacco crops in the area were “miraculously” saved from heavy hail. A massive 3.5-meter Kiseru made of bamboo and tin by the peasants was then given as an offering at the local Shinto shrine. Ten years later, in 1964, a magnificent Kiseru (see picture below) was crafted by the famous Murata factory who wanted to offer this symbolic Kiseru to the local deity before stopping the production of its famous Kiseru.

Some of the most beautiful small objects made in Japan were used for Tobacco Smoking. This fine collection made over 40 years and each of these Tobacco Sets were acquired because of their individual unique beauty, there is such variation from the most simple natural form burl wood containers to the elaborate carved wood examples with finely incised designs such as dragons.

2.6 meter long Murata Kiseru  (Source : www.ishioka-kankou.com)

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A collection of 36 Ceramic Figures (both human & animals forms) from the Sukhothai & Sawankhalok Area of NE Thailand , from 13th-14th Century.

A collection of 36 Ceramic Figures (both human & animals forms) from the Sukhothai & Sawankhalok Area of NE Thailand , from 13th-14th Century.

The best known of all traditional Thai ceramics are those from Sukhothai and Sawankhalok. Sukhothai wares were generally treated with a creamy white slip and decorated in black with an opaque or greenish glaze. Examples of the wares can be found in many leading museums of the world. These beautiful figures are incised and often include animal shapes.

These are mostly from two from two historical collections in Australia put together in the 1950’s-1960’s

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