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A Fine Old New Guinea Canoe Ornament Geelvink Bay Area West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia

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Collection No. TB-399
Size Height : 28cm
New Guinea Oceanic Art
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
Abelam New Guinea Art

A Fine Old New Guinea Canoe Ornament Geelvink Bay Area West Papua Irian Jaya Indonesia

This very fine old Canoe Prow Ornament is from the Geelvink Bay area on the North Coast of West Papua, Indonesia. This ornament is only part of a complex decoration that was placed at the front of the canoe. When I field collected this canoe ornament 35 years ago it was being kept by a family as an heirloom carving from their Grandfather. They said it was off a large type of ocean-going canoe that is no longer made due to the use of aluminum boats that don’t take months of time for a community to build as was done with canoes in earlier generations. The village in the field photo in this listing is from the same village as this canoe and I have named the family it belonged to. Dating from the early 20th century. The fine open work carving shows the great skill of the carver & towards the back you can see a stylized ancestor or Kowar Figure  This Northwest part of the island of New Guinea had plenty of trade links with SE Asia, especially with the Moluccu Islands in Eastern Indonesia where people came to trade for Bird of Paradise feathers.

Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of New Guinea Oceanic Art 

I first went to Papua New Guinea in 1985 for an adventure & what I found was that I really enjoyed being with the people of New Guinea, over the next 38 years I spent extensive time spent collecting and documenting traditional art & ceremonies in remote areas of Papua New Guinea & West Papua, The Solomon Islands & Vanuatu & the other Pacific Islands countries. During these travels, I made major collections of New Guinea & Oceanic Art for major Museums and Public Art Galleries

I was honoured by being in the prestigious Louvre Museum Magazine for the collections I made for The Museum of African & Oceanic Art Paris in 1996 (now the Musee Quai Branly) for the exhibition “Asmat et Mimika d’ Irian Jaya April 1996 At THE MUSEE NATIONAL des ARTS D’AFRIQUE et d’ OCEANIE, Paris

See all of the links & photos in my new EXHIBITIONS GALLERY and there is the link to the article in the prestigious Louvre Magazine 1996

I have artwork for Museums & 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 specialises in New Guinea & Oceanic Art. Sydney is just a couple hours’ flight to New Guinea & the Pacific Islands where all of these amazing artworks came from, Australia’s closest neighbours.



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

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