The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Rarotonga Island fisherman's god and New Zealand Maori short club highlight Art of the South Seas Auction
Extremely Rare Maori Short Club, New Zealand mere pounamu. Greenstone/Nephrite jade, length 13 3/4in (35cm). Estimate $40,000-60,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams will hold its annual Art of the South Seas auction February 9 in San Francisco, representing all parts of Oceania, with works from Australia, Indonesia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. The sale will feature approximately 184 quality works for beginning and tenured collectors alike.

Highlights will commence with a very rare, 12¾ inch-tall, wood fisherman's god from Rarotonga Island of the Cook Islands, from the late 19th century/early 20th century (est. $6,000-9,000).

From there, standing out in the sale, will be an extremely rare Maori short club, or mere, from New Zealand, made of Greenstone/Nephrite jade (est. $40,000-60,000). The only other known short club to feature a manaia head carved at its bottom exists within The Maori Collections of the British Museum. Historically, such short clubs were both insignia of male warrior status and weapons, and were carried in the belt with a short wrist-cord to prevent loss in combat.

Also in the auction from New Zealand will be a rare Maori pendant in human form, hei-tiki, made of Greenstone/Nephrite jade, likely produced in the 18th century (est. $30,000-40,000). Typically, hei-tiki have been passed down through families as heirlooms, and are worn by men and women. This particular piece is finely stone-carved from the most highly sought after variety of pounamu or nephrite jade from the Maori inanga stone.

From Marquesas Island will be an exceptional stone Popoi Pounder, ke'a tuki popoi (est. $20,000-30,000). Popoi Pounders typically served as both functional objects and art.

Also of note, from Sumba Island of the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, will be a stone memorial grave marker, penji reti, measuring 88 inches tall (est. $18,000-22,000). The marker, erected in the memory of a great nobleman, depicts the nobleman, carved ear ornaments, whales and a horse with a rider. Also from the Greater Sunda Islands, on Sumatra Island, will be a pair of wood, Toba Batak architectural heads depicting singa (est. $10,000-15,000). In Sanskrit, singa is defined as lion, however to the Batak, the singa is a mythological primeval beast of no defined zoological species.

Rounding out the sale will be a massive Tolai Currency Ring of Bismark Archipelago, New Britain, made of sea snail shells and fiber (est. $8,000-12,000). Throughout history, the Tolai’s tabu rolls, or tamba rolls, have been used for payment during funeral ceremonies, as they are believed to allow spirits to access the world of their ancestors. This access is dependent upon the wealth of the tabu. Shells are a strong currency among the Tolai and can be sold to assist with rank promotion in society.

For more information about the auction or to review or purchase its catalogue, please visit

Today's News

January 15, 2014

Frederic C. Hamilton donates Impressionist masterworks to the Denver Art Museum

Renovated Costume Institute designated the Anna Wintour Costume Center

Rarotonga Island fisherman's god and New Zealand Maori short club highlight Art of the South Seas Auction

Major Lucian Freud portrait to be offered for sale at Sotheby's London Evening sale of Contemporary Art

Condolence mail handled by Jacqueline Kennedy's secretaries now available to researchers

Century old Antarctic photographic negatives discovered in Captain Scott's hut

Nye and Company to feature an important John Singer Sargent painting of Winston Churchill's mother

Exhibition of new paintings by the American artist, Vincent Desiderio opens at Marlborough Gallery

Christie's announces auction including the largest and most important private collection of Arte Povera

British Museum has most successful year in its long history with 6.7 million visitors in 2013

Exclusive behind-the-scenes studio tours offered by master frame maker Eli Wilner

Michelle Obama's second inaugural ball gown goes on view in National Museum of American History

Jean-Luc Baroni to present an exhibition of master paintings and drawings at Carlton Hobbs Gallery

Museum of London calls on Londoners to help secure new Matt Pyke installation for Museums at Night 2014

Antiques from the home of John Penrose go under the hammer at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

Met curators Denise Leidy and Soyoung Lee to explore modern stories in relation to ancient Silla

Thousands of vintage and rare vinyl records boost fine arts music collection

Britain's World War I diaries go online

The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation announces the launch of its new website

From Both Moments As Another: Anna Meliksetian and Michael Briggs present works by Cody Trepte

Arts Council England supports Jerwood Open Forest

Joel Morrison presents a new body of stainless steel assemblages at Almine Rech Gallery

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful