A collection of three early 20th century painted wooden figures of fisherman
A collection of three early 20th century painted wooden figures of fisherman

A collection of three early 20th century painted wooden figures of fisherman

c. 1900 Andaman Islands

Offered by James McWhirter Antiques Ltd


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A group of three fishermen made of dark wood carved in the form of a man and two women standing on square pedestal bases. The pair of smaller figures, which retain their original clothing, portray a smiling female figure carrying sticks wearing a little skirt. She holds a fish on a piece of string. The second figure is holding a stick in either hand and wears a skirt. The larger figure has a painted red loincloth.

The Andaman Islands form an archipelago of more than 300 islands in the Bay of Bengal between India, to the west, and Myanmar, to the north and east. The name Andaman most likely is derived from the name of the monkey god of Hindu mythology, Hanuman. North, Middle and South Andaman, known collectively as Great Andaman are the main islands. They are home to the only known Paleolithic people, the Sentinelese people, who have had no contact with any other people.

Situated on the ancient trade route between India and Myanmar, the Andamans were visited by the navy of the English East India Company in 1789, and in 1872 they were linked administratively by the British to the Nicobar Islands. The two sets of islands became a union territory of the Republic of India in 1956.

Carpentry and woodwork are native to the Andamans and the inhabitants make furniture, human or animal figures out of ornamental woods such as Padauk, Marble wood, Chooi, Silver Grey and Kokko. They make beautiful table tops from Padauk wood, for example.

You will find big figures, cut in wood in natural size, in the middle of the floor representing men in European dress. They do not worship idols but still they like to have images of all sorts about the house. As a rule, one or two figures are tied to the roof and hang down about five feet from the floor.(Vocabulary of Dialects Spoken in the Nicobar and Andaman Isles by Frederik Adolph de Roepstorff, published in 1875).
Private collection, United Kingdom
Height 19.50 inch (49.53 cm)
Width 9.00 inch (22.86 cm)
Depth 9.00 inch (22.86 cm)
Stock Code
Painted wood.
circa 1900
James McWhirter Antiques Ltd

James McWhirter Antiques Ltd
11 Langton Street
SW10 0JL

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