Important and Rare Maori Feather Box, New Zealand
length 20in (51cm)
Cornelis Pieter Meulendijk, Rotterdam
Christie's, London, October 1980, Lot 361
Museum voor Land- en Volkenkunde, Rotterdam, 1965, #428
This exceptional treasure box is exquisitely stone or soft-metal carved overall with notched scrolls and carved at the base with male and female figures amidst scrolls and the handles as heads. One interesting feature is that only one eye of the heads at the handles is carved.
"A wakahuia (feather box) was made to hold ornaments that had been worn on the head of a chief and were thus tapu. The box was hung in the rafters of the house, out of the way so that people in the house were not endangered." (Meade 1985: p 221)