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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "New Zealand Maori Carved Wood Pinnacle Figure ‘Tekoteko’ from a ‘Pataka’ or Chief’s Storehouse"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
An old ink inscription to the side of the head ‘Otaheite NC’
Probably from the Waikato Area on West Coast of the North Island
Old Dry Patina Covered with Dark Red Pigment
The left side of the head and the legs missing, the curving buttocks with ancient pitch repair
Size: 22.5cm high, 4cm wide, 6cm deep – 8¾ ins high, 1½ ins wide, 2½ ins deep
33cm high – 13 ins high (including base)
cf: W.O.Oldman Collection Dominion Museum, Wellington, New Zealand has a very similar figure but with ornamentation. ‘The New Zealanders Illustrated’ London, 1846, by G.F.Angas shows a Pataka on the shores of Lake Taupo with a similar pinnacle figure
These pinnacle Tiki or gable peak figures are best viewed from below at an angle of around 45 degrees. The Maori craftsmen were well aware of this subtle perspective and cleverly worked with the optical requirements of architectural space and form. Traditionally said to represent primal canoe ancestors, the comparative shallow surface decoration of this particular example suggests it was produced with a stone adze.