New Caledonian Melanesian 'Bird Headed' Hardwood Club
New Caledonian Melanesian 'Bird Headed' Hardwood Club
New Caledonian Melanesian 'Bird Headed' Hardwood Club
New Caledonian Melanesian 'Bird Headed' Hardwood Club
New Caledonian Melanesian 'Bird Headed' Hardwood Club
New Caledonian Melanesian 'Bird Headed' Hardwood Club

New Caledonian Melanesian 'Bird Headed' Hardwood Club

1700 to 1900 New Caledonia

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A Superb New Caledonian Melanesian 'Bird Headed' Hardwood Club
Exceptional smooth and mellow patina
Slight damage to one edge
Late 18th – early 19th Century

Size: 73cm long – 28¾ ins long
Provenance: Ex English Private collection
cf: A club in the collection of The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow (E365) which, is of a similar colour and patination and was collected by Captain Cook
This aesthetically pleasing club is beautifully carved and finished in hardwood with a natural high polish characteristic of New Caledonian woodwork. It is called a 'bird headed' club because of the beak like extension and the raised 'eye' giving it the appearance of an exotic bird.
New Caledonia is a large island completely fringed by coral reefs and is very mountainous with several peaks at over 5000 feet. This combined with a tribal system under hereditary chiefs has led to the development of distinct dialects with 24 different ones spoken on the island at present. New Caledonian beliefs recognise two types of spirits: those of the ancestors invoked as guardians, and pure spirits in charge of certain realms. The flora is outstandingly rich in unique species indicating a prolonged period of isolation since remote geological time. The flying fox, a species of fruit bat, was the sole resident mammal before the arrival of man.
Medium
Wood
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