Papuan Gulf Marupai Magical Charm-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
It is hard not to love the Papuan Gulf Marupai charms carved from small dwarf coconuts. The spirit faces are often expertly composed and executed. The profiles often have the open mouths of either a pig or a fish. The precise carved design is in-filled with white lime that contrasts strongly with the glossy black surface of the coconut. They are pleasing little tribal art jewels in the hand. The potent magic they possessed still emanates. This one comes from Richard Aldridge of Perth, Todd Barlin in Sydney and then a Queensland private collection. It dates from the 19th century, stands 4” (10.1 cm) in height.