Rare Canoe Prow, Marquesas Islands
Lot 63
Rare Canoe Prow, Marquesas Islands length 15 7/8in (39.5cm)
Sold for US$ 70,900 inc. premium
Auction Details
Rare Canoe Prow, Marquesas Islands length 15 7/8in (39.5cm) Rare Canoe Prow, Marquesas Islands length 15 7/8in (39.5cm) Rare Canoe Prow, Marquesas Islands length 15 7/8in (39.5cm)
Lot Details
Rare Canoe Prow, Marquesas Islands
'au'au or pihao
Wood
length 15 7/8in (39.5cm)

Provenance:
English Private Collection, acquired in the 1960s

This finely carved prow depicts a seated tiki of classic Marquesan form with oversized head with enlarged eyes, with arms resting on the front and the legs extending forward with its feet resting on two tiki heads. The figure is incised with linear tattooing throughout and fine dark brown patina with encrustations.

Cf. Kjellgren (2005: figs 69 and 70) for related examples.

According to Kjellgren (2005: pp. 101-102), "The tiki images that adorned the prows of Marquesan canoes constitute a distinct category within Marquesan sculpture. They consist of dynamic, seated figures shown with their legs extended forward to the base of a long projection that terminates in an upturned human face. In contrast to the more static, frontal orientation of freestanding wood and stone tiki, those of the prow ornaments convey a sense of movement and activity. Carved as part of separate prow pieces...which were attached to the bows of canoes, these tiki were intended primarily to be viewed in profile as the vessels sped through the water, their bodies portrayed as though thrown backward by the acceleration of the canoe. Unlike the majority of Marquesan tiki, in which the head occupies a third or more of the body height, the proportions of the 'au'au figures are more naturalistic, although the head remains somewhat enlarged. The legs, reduced or absent in many tiki, are shown full-scale and fully modeled. The arms, by contrast, are stylized, and their treatment and positions are similar to those on the wood and stone figures or stilt steps."
Activities
Auction information

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

Contacts
  1. Fredric Backlar
    Specialist - African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, United States 90046
    Work +1 323 436 5416
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 5843