Ladle, Austral Islands
length 43in (109cm)
the squared handle leading to a rounded end, the circumference of which is decorated with eight heads, decorated overall, except for the inside of the ladle, with representative, intricate incised criss-cross and circular motifs; fine, blackened patina.
Private American Collection, acquired prior to World War I while traveling in the South Seas
Thence by descent
The use of ladles such as these are unknown. The bowl is similar to the shape of bowls used for the kava ritual, and the construction is light and fragile, suggesting that the work was most likely intended for ceremonial purposes.