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A Fine Old New Guinea Shield Mendi Valley Area Southern Highlands Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. TB-24
Size (123x36cm)
Oceanic Arts Australia buys and sells tribal New Guinea art

A Fine Old New Guinea Shield Mendi Valley Area Southern Highlands Papua New Guinea

This beautiful old and well-used shield is from the Mendi Valley area of the Southern Highlands Province of  Papua New Guinea. This type of oval shield is called Worrumbi  in the local language and was used during tribal fighting with other nearby groups, there was regularly shifting alliances made & broken, and fighting over land boundaries was common.  A shield belonging to an important man became a family heirloom, and often a shield had a personal name and many stories were attached to it.  This shield shows significant age with deep black glossy patina. Carved from a single piece of hardwood. the rope handle is attached through two holes in the centre of the shield, painted with red, white ochre.  Early 20th Century

In 1969 Mankind Magazine No . 7 Pages 59-66  there is an article ” The Style in New Guinea Highlands Shields ” by J.A. Abramson is one of the best articles with line drawings of the types of New Guinea Highlands Shields.  The other good publication on the Shields of New Guinea is a fine book called ” The Shields of Melanesia ” 2005 edited by Harry Beran & Barry Craig,  I wrote several chapters in this book and 22 of the shields published are from my private collection of New Guinea Shields

Provenance:   Field Collected in the Mendi Valley in 1985 and part of my private collection of shields that has been hanging on the wall in my house for 35 years

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 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.