Rare Telefomin Shield, Papua New Guinea
height 63in (160cm)
most likely stone carved in high relief with motifs possibly representing a flying fox (sagaam); highlighted on the front with dark-brown, red-orange and white pigments.
Field collected by Wayne Heathcote, 1960's (a string tag on the reverse reads "WH 46" on one side and a sticker with "D Newton" handwritten on a label on the other side)
Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, December 1966
Private New York Collection, acquired at the above by the present owner's brother
According to Hamson, The Elegance of Menace, 2005, p 56, "The very earliest pre-contact Telefomin shields have a depth and strength of carving to them that they move towards being a three-dimensional sculpture...the colors and graphic design are supposed to dazzle the eye of your enemies, arresting their movements and striking fear into their hearts."
- "please note that the provenance should read:
Field collected by Wayne Heathcote, not Douglas Newton, 1960's (a string tag on the reverse reads "WH 46" on one side and a sticker with "D Newton" handwritten on a label on the other side)