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A Fine Old New Guinea Drum Middle Sepik River Papua New Guinea

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Size Height: 84cm
The Art of Compassion The Todd Barlin Collection
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
New Guinea Oceanic Art

A Fine Old Drum Middle Sepik River Papua New Guinea

This beautiful old Drum is from the Iatmul People in the Middle Sepik area of the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.  This hourglass-shaped drum is often referred to as a Kundu which is the Papua New Guinea pidgin English term for this type of drum.  Old drums like this fine example were family heirlooms often used over several generations of a family.  The whole drum is finely incised with ancestors’ faces in high relief along with clan designs that were later highlighted with ochre . The lug handle and whole drum have an old deep patina from use and storage in the men’s ceremonial house.  The use of drums is very important to all traditional ceremonies where drumming and singing relate stories of ancient ancestral beings who are invoked for protection & fertility.

Provenance: Collected in 1965-1966  by the Geologist Peter Austin. Much of Austin’s collection was sold to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and published in a book  “New Guinea: Big Man Island”  by  ES Rogers, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada 1970.   The collection remains in the Toronto Museum today.  His best objects were kept for 50 years until the collection was sold to me. 

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 specializes 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 

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.