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A Fine Old New Guinea Neckrest or Headrest Eastern Highlands Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. TB-331
Size Length 44cm
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
New Guinea Oceanic Art
Asian & Japan Scholars Art
Abelam New Guinea Art

A Fine Old New Guinea Neckrest or Headrest Eastern Highlands Papua New Guinea

This old and well-used Headrest or Neckrest is from the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. In the form of a Zoomorphic animal that used the natural shape of the tree branch, it was made from. In this example, the artist added a small mouth which creates a further reading of it as an animal rather than a natural shape.

Three-legged headrests are found in other areas like East Africa and it must be a pleasing & functional manner in which to make a Headrest sturdy to lay one’s neck on when resting.  In New Guinea many of the cultural groups the men had elaborate hairstyles that took time and effort to maintain. The headrests kept their hair from touching the ground and getting flat while sleeping. We have a hard time understanding how this could be comfortable enough to be able to sleep but it must be okay since cultures around the world made & used wood headrests like this example.

I collected this Headrest from people near the area of Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands in 1986.  I have enjoyed looking at it ever since because any way you look at it its moving, it looks like an animal stretching its back as dogs do when the lean forward

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 

To see many more rare items and the finest masterpieces, please make an appointment with us to visit the gallery.

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