Tongan Islands Headrest, kali toloni, Kingdom of Tonga
length 19 1/2in (49.5cm)
the long, round bar serving as the pillow, connected with sennit bindings to low, wide arching legs ending in diminutive feet; fine and smooth reddish brown patina.
Purportedly Hurst Gallery, Massachusetts
Private Collection, Paris
Private Collection, Chicago
Of the Tongan neckrests, known as kali, this type, kali toloni, known by its three piece construction and use of a pole as pillow, is the least common and considered the most elegant. Used mainly by Tongan chiefs (St. Cartmail, 1997), this example is of a particularly enticing proportion being quite long, wide and low in stance. It has a numeric reference in red ink under the pillow, 1961.9.