Important and Fine Multibarbed War Spear, Fiji Islands
length 95 7/8in (243.8cm)
Collected by Donald MacKay on the French voyage of Chauncey, 1818-20 (see illustration of map from the original journal, not included in lot)
Private Collection, France
Cf. Clunie (1986: fig. 157)
'Of Fijian spears or javelins there is a great variety, having from one to four points, and showing a round, square, or semicircular section. Some are barbed, and some formed of a wood which bursts when moist, so that it can scarcely be extracted from a wound. They are deadly weapons, generally of heavy wood, and from ten to fifteen feet long. One variety is significantly called, "The priest is too late." (Thomas Williams, Fiji and the Fijians, V.I, The Islands and their Inhabitants, London, 1858)
The four barbed sections at the top half separated by a bulbous area with cross-hatched incised design; fine coir sinnet intact on two areas below the barbs, the bottom half with smooth and glossy patina; remnants of old collection label at the midsection.
- Please note that the voyage of Chauncey, 1818-20, was an American voyage not French.