Fish-Shaped Pectoral, Easter Island
Wood, obsidian and bone
width 10 1/8in (25.7cm)
Patricia Withofs, London
Mark and Carolyn Blackburn, Honolulu, Hawaii
Kjellgren, Eric, Splendid Isolation - Art of Easter Island, New Haven: Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2001, fig. 68;
Kaeppler, Adrienne, Polynesia; The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art, The University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, fig. 533.
Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Albuquerque, Easter Island in Pacific Context, 1997;
Easter Island Foundation, Kamuela, 2000;
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Splendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island, 2001-2002;
Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, Spirits and Headhunters; Arts of the Pacific Islands, 2010
Of thin, crescent shape with finely stone-carved incised linear design accentuating the caudal fin and pectoral areas, a notched dorsal ridge along the back, a finely incised crescent form highlighting the lateral line on both sides, notched at the mouth and pierced through at the back for attachment, the eyes inset with circular obsidian framed with bone; fine dark honey-brown patina.
According to Kaeppler (2010, p. 364), "Worn at feasts and other important occasions, rei miro served as insignias of chiefly birth. This example is in the form of a fish and is similar to a rei miro collected in 1868 on HMS Topaz."