Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Maprik region, Abelam peoples, ca. early 20th century CE. An enormous hand-carved wooden ancestral figure standing upon a pair of lengthy legs with delineated male genitalia hanging in-between. The figure holds both arms to its slender waist, each with several painted or incised scarification marks, with a rounded ovoid chest above displaying a wide shell-form pectoral between sloping shoulders. A thick neck supports the figure's massive head, defined by a curving beard, full lips, and flush eyes and nose, all surmounted by a pair of arching horns. Areas of traditional blue, white, black, and yellow pigment adorn almost every body part, though age and environmental conditions have worn away most of the added coloration. Figures like this were carved in the likeness of a deceased family member, and were often spiritually consulted during times of crises or for advice before making an important decision. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 12.75" W x 68.75" H (32.4 cm x 174.6 cm); 69.25" H (175.9 cm) on included custom stand.
A similar example with intact upper body features hammered for $7,200 at Sotheby's, New York "African and Oceanic Art" Auction (November 16, 2001, lot 213): http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2001/african-and-oceanic-art-n07731/lot.213.html
Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection
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Surface wear and abrasions commensurate with age, losses to areas of feet, legs, arms, body, head, face, horns, and verso, with fading and losses to pigmentation, several stable hairline fissures, and minor inactive insect damage. Light earthen deposits and nice traces of pigmentation throughout.