Oceania, Fiji Islands, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A beautiful example of the distinctive double-headed sali war club. Sometimes referred to as "cali," "tebetebe," or "gunstock clubs," this style of war club is recognizable based on the striking head's wide cheeks as well as a pronounced spur situated above. The entire surface is highly polished which imbues the finely-incised linear and geometric motifs with a greater sense of definition. Weapons like this have both ceremonial and functional roles, and their forms were cultivated from living trees. The ridges were beaten into the tree while it was still growing, to allow the curved shape to arise "naturally" instead of having to be later carved. Lacking a cutting edge, this weapon was likely used in either close combat or in dance performances. Custom museum-quality display stand included. Size: 37" H (94 cm); 39.125" H (99.4 cm) on included custom stand.
For a similar example, please see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 1979.206.1390: https://metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/313583
A similar example hammered for $13,750 at Sotheby's, New York "African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art" Auction (May 14, 2010, lot 71): http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2010/african-oceanic-and-pre-columbian-art-n08638/lot.71.html
Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection
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Surface wear and minor abrasions commensurate with age, light fading to finer incised details, and minor fading to color of wood, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits within recessed areas. Old inventory sticker on top side of stand.