< Back

A Superb Old New Guinea Bowl Papuan Gulf Area South Coast Papua New Guinea

Enquire About This Artworks >
Collection No. SOLD
Size 61cm without stand
New Guinea Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
Asian & Japan Scholars Art
Asian Buddhist Art

A Superb Old New Guinea Bowl Papuan Gulf Area South Coast Papua New Guinea Dating from the 19th Century 

This old bowl of elegant form has a fine Ancestor or Spirits Head as the focus of the bowl, the head is carved in high relief and is similar in design to the abstract Gope Spirit Boards that the Papuan Gulf is renowned for. There is an incised clan design around the edge of the bowl but it is the Ancestors Head & the very old patina that makes the bowl so beautiful.

In the past, the primary focus of religious and artistic life in this region was based on these powerful spirits called Imunu.  Each clan had specific imunu Spirits that were associated with a specific location in the landscape, rivers, or sea, and was linked to the specific clan.

The Papuan Gulf region comprises approximately five major groups of related peoples, each with its own stylistically distinct forms of masks, figures, and spirit boards. Nearly every object was created to communicate with or control the spirit world for the benefit of the family or community. Local sculptors were able to attract the spirits to live in the Gope Boards that were kept in shrines in the longhouses, the center of men’s community life, or to inhabit the masks and enable dancers to be activated by them during performances involving the entire community.

Old bowls like these are family heirlooms sometimes several generations old, they were used on ceremonial occasions for the most favored of foods like wild boar or cassowary.

The artists of the Papuan Gulf made superb ceremonial artworks but also daily objects like this Food Bowl that were beautifully decorated with ancestral designs that are always a reminder of the Ancestor’s presence.

The Bowl comes with a custom stand and it looks amazing on a table or shelf.

Provenance: Collected by Thomas Schultze-Westrum in the 1960s. 

The Todd Barlin Collection of 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