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A Superb Old New Guinea Shield Arawe People Kandrian Area West New Britain Island Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. SOLD but see lots more Fine Oceanic & Aboriginal Art on my website
Size 131cm x 32cm
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A Superb Old War Shield from the Kandarian Arawe area of Southwest New Britain Island which is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago, part of the Islands Region of Papua New Guinea. 

This shield has a field photo of the owner with his shield & a spear that was taken in 1965 by the Geologist Peter Austin, much of this collection in now in the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada,

These rare and beautiful shields are made of three planks of wood bound together with rattan. The front of the older shields from this area is convex, the finely incised designs are carried over all three planks and tapering towards the edge. The bank of the shield the largest middle plank has a recessed vertical grip. The most amazing aspect of the back of the shield is finely painted ochre designs in red and black.

This fine old shield has eight pairs of concentric circular designs incised on the front, these have remnants of the original ochre painting.

These designs are mesmerizing to look at; in fact most New Guinea Shields the designs are meant to frighten or confuse the enemy.  I was told this by many different tribal groups in New Guinea and West Papua,

In many areas of New Guinea shields are said to be vessels for ancestral spirits and often have personal names that only the owner of the shield can invoke.

This old shield has numerous spears or arrow holes and or arrow tips embedded in the shield which can be clearly seen in the photos.

When you see this Shield in person you can see right away that it is a very old shield and though ancient in its tradition it also has a superb modernist sculptural form that would fit well in a modern house with modern art.

Provenance: Collected by Peter Austin in 1965-66, Austin was a geologist working at that time & made a fine collection of New Guinea as he had access to a helicopter and was able to visit remote villages & move his artworks around. Part of his collection is now if The Royal Ontario Museum in Canada & was published in the book “New Guinea: Big Man Island” by ES Rogers, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada 1970.  The collection remains in the Toronto Museum today.

The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Oceanic Art

See my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY  showing the Museums and Art Galleries Exhibitions that I provided artworks for over the past 40 years. There is the link to the article about my artworks published in the prestigious Louvre Magazine in 1996

I have artwork for Museums and art Galleries but also for collectors at every stage of their collecting. I want to encourage people to explore the fine art of New Guinea & West Papua and the Pacific Islands and to be able to see and touch the artworks in a relaxed and friendly manner in my Sydney Gallery. I would like to invite you to visit my gallery and see the artworks in person and also look at my website www.oceanicartsaustralia.com where there are many Galleries & Sub Galleries to explore.

My Gallery of nearly 40 years is the last physical gallery in Sydney that specializes in New Guinea and Oceanic Art.  Sydney is very close to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbors.


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 inquiries, please contact us