French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post
French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post
French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post
French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post
French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post
French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post
French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post

French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post

1800 to 2000 Marquesas Islands

Offered by Finch & Co

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A Large French Polynesian Marquesas Islands Nuku Hiva House Post Carved with Ritual Tiki Figures
Late 19th Century - Early 20th century

Size: 288cm high - 113½ ins high / 9 FEET 5½ INS
(A radio-carbon report dates the post to the late 19th century - early 20th century)
Provenance:
Brought from the Marquesas Islands with three other posts to Tahiti in the 1930’s to form the veranda of the notorious Quinn’s Bar in Papeete. Purchased by Mr John Letham upon closure in 1973 and shipped back to Scotland on the deck of his yacht
Thence by descent
Sold together with a 1950’s postcode showing Quinn’s Bar with the post in situ

cf: Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection University of East Anglia (UEA 192) a smaller tiki post figure of similar date and style collected in 1881-2 by H W Eyres ‘during a voyage round the world’
Another weather worn example in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Hawai’i
These large human images are the most imposing of all Marquesan wood sculptures and although there must have been many of them in the populous islands, very few sizeable wooden Tiki’s have survived. Most of them were set on the ‘Me’ae’, a communal ritual site, exposed to the elements and often surrounded by mountainous jungle. The best preserved tiki are the house post figures that remained for the most part under cover supporting the fronts of large communal meeting houses. Both at the ‘Me’ae’ and on the front of these structures, the tiki represented the deified ancestors ‘etua’ whose supernatural powers sustained and protected the community. The enlarged head is typical of Polynesian sculpture, but these large tiki have the most persuasive eyes of all Polynesia, even when eroded by time and weather they can still cast a spell that is inescapable.
Medium
Wood
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