Rare Necklace, Fiji
Fiji Islands, Polynesia, 1700-1800
Whale ivory, vegetal fiber
Length : 30 cm with cord, reel size
Provenance : Collection Vérité, Paris
Kevin Conru, Brussels
Collection Berend Hoekstra, Brussels
Publication : "KunstKammer"
(M. Doustar, 2017), n°66
In the recent publication Fiji : Art and Life in the Pacific, Steven Hooper describes a later necklace of the same type : "The place of manufacture of this rare but distinctive type of necklace remains unclear. An example in private hands has an old French label attributing it to "Uvea", also known as Wallis Island. The fiber cord resembles that used on Tongan fishing lures, and the similarity of the form to reel-shaped runners on the sides of canoe hulls suggests they were made by canoe-builders, but where in Western Polynesia is uncertain. An example in Dresden (30864, acquired in 1882) has "Viti" on a old label. Some old kava bowls have lugs in reel form, and a Fijian fish-shaped dish in Sydney has four reel-shaped feet, so it is likely that eastern Fiji-based canoe builders made these ivory necklets. An example in the British Museum predates 1855"
Steven Hooper (2016), Fiji : Art and Life in the Pacific, Sainsbury Center, Norwich, Page 140 n° 40