Maori, Nouvelle-Zélande,, 1500-1700
Hauteur : 13,5 cm
Provenance : Royal Artillery Institute, Woolwich, Londres Collection Harry G. Beasley (inv. n° 3002), acquired in 1932
Christie’s, London, 3-4 july, 1990, n° 128
William B. Ziff collection, New York
Publication : Uber der Kopf, 2019, n°29
This magnifiicent hei tiki is a superlative example in terms of sculpture, stone color, age and provenance. Carved in some of the finest nephrite (pounamu) variety, the figure is quite large and well balanced with a characteristic prominent head. The facial features are delicately in- cised around the nose and mouth, and the presence of a rare thin rib around the eyes gives a very unique, owl-like expression to the head . However, the most remarkable aspect of this hei tiki is probably its superb oily patina and velvety surface, indication of a very ancient carving that was worn by several generations and handled over a very long period of time.
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