Two Rare Gilbert Islands Wood and Shark Tooth Daggers

Two Rare Gilbert Islands Wood and Shark Tooth Daggers

1800 to 1900 Gilbert Islands

Offered by Finch & Co

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Two Rare Gilbert Islands Wood and Shark Tooth Daggers
Early 19 th Century

Size : 46 cm long , and 37 cm long – 18 ins long and 14½ ins long

Provenance : Sold at auction by the descendants of a former Governor of New Zealand

The Gilbert Islands lie in the western Pacific and are geographically part of Micronesia . The Islands have been under continuous British rule since the 18 th century .
Before European interference and the onslaught of introduced diseases Micronesia was heavily populated and fighting was common . On the Gilbert Island combat was so frequent , elaborate offensive and defensive equipment was extensively manufactured .
Sharks teeth were a useful substitute for the flakiness of stone , and coconut fibre cordage , both twisted and plaited was expertly made and used in great numbers on weapons each individually pierced and sewn into grooves along the sides of daggers and spears . To counteract the lacerating effect of these weapons , thick plaited coir armour was developed in the Gilbert's composed of a rigid cuirass with high collar and separate trouser and sleeve sections . A spiky fish skin helmet completed the outfit .
Height 46.00 cm (18.11 inches)
Wood and Shark Tooth and Fibre
Finch & Co

Finch & Co
Suite No 744
2 Old Brompton Road

+44 (0)20-7413 9937
+44 (0)7836 684133
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