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African & Oceanic Art / Large Maori Hand Club, New Zealand

Lot 17
Large Maori Hand Club, New Zealand
27 April 2022, 10:00 EDT
New York

Sold for US$17,850 inc. premium

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Large Maori Hand Club, New Zealand

patu onewa
Graywacke stone
Length 16 1/4in (41.3cm)

Kenneth Webster Collection, London ("WEBB COLL 1751" written in white above the suspension hole)
Wayne Heathcote, Brussels/New York/London
Important Private Collection, acquired from the above in 1993

This superb patu onewa is smoothly and symmetrically finished with ridges across the butt with a wrist-cord hole. According to Terrence Barrow, "as a general rule, the rangatira [Maori chief] carried both a short and a long club. The short clubs of the Maori, which are grouped under the generic term patu poto, were made in several shapes from wood, bone, and stone (including greenstone). They were carried thrust into the girdle of the kilt or into a special war-belt.

The common characteristic of short clubs is a flat broad blade with rounded end made sharp enough to split the skull of a man, or to cause deadly injuries to the neck or ribs by thrusting blows." (The Decorative Arts of the New Zealand Maori, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Japan, 1964, p. 38)

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