Hook Pendant, niho palaoa, Hawaiian Islands
Lot 6050Y
Hook Pendant, niho palaoa, Hawaiian Islands
Sold for US$ 1,830 inc. premium

Lot Details
Hook Pendant, niho palaoa, Hawaiian Islands
length 2 1/2in (6.4cm)
probably whale ivory, the upright shank with transverse suspension hole, the hook bend curving back from it an obtuse angle; fine honey brown patina.

Worn by both men and women of high social status, the lei niho palaoa was the most valuable of chiefly adornments, inferior in symbolic value only to the feather capes and cloaks which were reserved for the Hawaiian aristocracy, Wardwell (1994: 240). Roger G. Rose notes, "Early versions of the Hawaiian hook pendant exist in coral, shell, calcite and other substances, but the preferred material was whale ivory. The scarce resource was obtained from the teeth, niho, of beached sperm whales, palaoa, which were claimed by chiefs on whose beaches they occasionally foundered. As Hawaiians ventured into colder northern waters on whaling vessels in the late 18th century, they encountered the walrus, adding its previously unknown tusks to their scant reserves of whale ivory. With more dependable sources of raw material, the small pendants that averaged no more than two or three inches long soon developed into the larger version familiar today." (1980: 196)

Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
Y CITES

Subject to CITES regulations when exporting items outside of the EU, see clause 13.

Similar Items