Two Pacific Palau Islands Women’s Turtle-shell Ceremonial Dishes Micronesia
Two Pacific Palau Islands Women’s Turtle-shell Ceremonial Dishes Micronesia
Two Pacific Palau Islands Women’s Turtle-shell Ceremonial Dishes Micronesia

Two Pacific Palau Islands Women’s Turtle-shell Ceremonial Dishes Micronesia

1800 to 1900 Palau

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Two Pacific Palau Islands Women’s Turtle-shell Ceremonial Dishes
Micronesia
First half 19th Century

Size: 21.5cm wide, 13cm deep, 2.5cm high – 8½ ins wide, 5 ins deep, 1 ins high
20cm wide, 14.5cm deep, 2cm high – 8 ins wide, 5¾ ins deep, ¾ ins high
See: Finch and Co catalogue no. 10, item no. 2, catalogue no. 14, item no. 42, for other examples
Provenance: Collected by Admiral Sir William Edward Parry in the early 1820’s thence by descent. Admiral Parry (1790 – 1855) travelled widely. He was an Arctic Explorer who attempted one of the earliest expeditions to the North Pole. His daughter Lucy who married the son of Admiral Robert Coote inherited these dishes. Their son Stanley Victor Coote had a daughter, Honor Dorothea who married Colonel Anthony Charles Barnes. In 1947 the Colonel died. In 1983 his wife Honor moved into a retirement home and sold the contents of the property, which included these dishes. She died a year later.
Made by women of the Palau Islands by heating the turtle shell in hot water and then shaping it in wooden moulds, these dishes are of ceremonial importance. They are used as a form of currency during ritual exchanges and regarded by the women as their exclusive property. They are gifted to the next generation through the female line and are kept as treasured heirlooms.
Medium
Tortosieshell
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