Maori Hand Club, New Zealand
length 12in (30.5cm)
Wayne Heathcote, London
Private Collection, Chicago
"This type of curved wooden hand club was used for close infighting. The weapon is handled rather like a short sword and is used for thrusting, with the blow being made by the end and not the sides. The figures on the sides and butt are mythological. It should be noted that the shape of a wahaika (literally, fish mouth) is quite distinctive and differs from all other short hand clubs of the patu category." (Mead, 1985: p. 188)
The present work, of smaller scale than most examples, has a finely carved tiki figure in classical arching form with fine details, together with a tiki face at the base of the handle; the fine, glossy brown patina accentuates the overall elegance and design.