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A Superb Old New Guinea War Shield Simbai Area Bismarck Schrader Ranges of Madang Province Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. TB-893
Size 119x66cm
New Guinea Oceanic Art
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New Guinea & Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art
Asian & Japan Scholars Art
The Art of Compassion The Todd Barlin Collection

A Superb Old New Guinea War Shield  from the Simbai Area in the Bismarck Schrader Ranges of Madang Province Papua New Guinea

This beautiful old & well-used Shield is from the Kalam People in the Simbai Area of the Bismark Schrader Mountain Ranges in Madang Province of Papua New Guinea. This fine old shield is carved from a single piece of hardwood, pierced in the middle to hold a bush fibre rope handle. The upraised designs in high relief look like a floral motif but this is only my impression and not the true nature of the designs that might only be known to the artist and his clan. The whole shield has an old black shiny patina. Kalam or Simbai Shields are highly sought by collectors because they fit in well with modern design & paintings. Warfare was widespread among traditional enemies in neighboring areas and alliances were made & broken regularly between groups. These shields were used in battle by two men, one pushing the shield forward and another warrior hiding behind the shield and free to use his bow and arrows with great accuracy.  Old photos of fighting in the New Guinea Highlands show many warriors with shields facing off over a large space where people surge forward and then move back.  I have seen warriors standing on rural dirt roads with their shields expecting a fight, this was in the 1980s, and later when people acquired guns the Shield became obsolete due to their not being effective against modern guns.  The overall condition of the shield is very good.  Hanging on the wall in my home it looks amazing both ancient & modern at the same time.

This shield would date from the 1940s or earlier, it was collected by missionaries and later part of the finely curated John Rix Collection in Sydney.

Provenance: Old Collection Australia and 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.


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