Illustration principale
Rare Prehistoric Bird Pestle
Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea, circa 1500 BC

Metamorphic stone sith hornblende(amphibolite)
Height : 19 cm

Provenance : Private collection, New York

Similar winged bird pestles were found between Lai and Baiyer rivers in the Western Highlands, in an area defined by Douglas Newton (1979) and Pamela Swadling as the “Sepik-Wahgi zone”. A great balance characterizes this particular example, the subtle details of the head of the bird are outlined with great sensitivity and the animal emanates a noble elegance and an ageless poetry.

A study of the surface of the stone was performed by Ciram laboratories and the results of the analysis are consistent with the prehistoric datation.
Price on request