A Papua New Guinea axe
A rare Papua New Guinea ceremonial axe from the Mount Hagen region in the Western Highlands, showing a hand shaped and hand polished grey-black stone having a finely sculpted edge, secured with intricately plaited rattan binding at one end, with a similarly shaped and bound axe head shaped counterweight at the opposing end, both affixed to a tapering wood handle. These axes were very highly prized possessions, often taking up to six months to fashion and hand polish the stone, and an equal amount of time to fashion the intricately woven rattan (orchidee stengel)used to lash both the blade and counterweight. Consequently, these were intended primarily for ceremonial dances, but in certain circumstances they were used for barter as well as for marriage dowry gifts. Item comes with a custom made stand.
Private collection Utrecht, The Netherlands, estate auction house Utrecht, 2022.
Height 66 cm., width 68 cm.
Good. No repairs, some wear of old age, nice patina of old age.