A large Fijian Tabua 19th century

A large Fijian Tabua 19th century

1800 to 1900 Fijian

Offered by Finch & Co

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A large Fijian Tabue, sperm whale tooth with old drilled suspension holes
19th century

Size : 19 cm long
7½ ins long
For a similar example see item no. 34, in Finch and Co's 2002 catalogue
The presentation and acceptance of Tabua bound and obligated one party to another. Whale ivory artifacts were th emost valuable form of Fijian property prior to the 1800's. Then the European merchant ships began to bring supplies of ivory together with iron and other merchandise to exchange for the sandalwood and for Beche de Mer. As can be seen from surving artifacts, early 19th century Fijian artistry reached new heights until about 1840 when Christianity, brought by the Methodists missionaries, began sapping the system and undermining the influence of the chiefdoms and the ancestor God's. Fijian art became a spent force as many customs were suppressed and altered.
Width 19.00 cm (7.48 inches)
Sperm whale tooth
Finch & Co

Finch & Co
Suite No 744
2 Old Brompton Road

+44 (0)20-7413 9937
+44 (0)7836 684133
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