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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Three Rare Pacific Palau Islands Turtle Shell Dishes"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Late 18th – early 19th Century
a: 24.5cm long, 15.5cm wide, 3cm high – 9¾ ins long, 6 ins wide, 1¼ ins high – SOLD
b: 17cm long, 10cm wide, 3cm high – 6¾ ins long, 4 ins wide, 1¼ ins high –
c: 13cm long, 9.5cm wide, 2cm high – 5 ins long, 3¾ ins wide, ¾ ins high –
See: Finch & Co catalogue no. 10, item no. 2, for another example
The women of the Palau Islands used these dishes on special occasions as a form of currency in ritual exchange. Regarded as their exclusive property, the ceremonial importance of these artifacts often led to their being gifted as heirlooms through the female line. The women also made combs, fish hooks and spoons, heating the sea turtle shell in hot water and then placing it in a wooden mould where it cooled and hardened into the desired shape.