Tami Island Bowl-Huon Gulf-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
I remember field collecting this sweet old bowl 25 years ago in a remote village high up the mountains of Umboi Island. It is small with tight, sweet spirit faces on each end. I had learned by that time the oldest bowls were deep with full volumes and the tighter the spirit face was to the pointed end the better. Post-1940 bowls tended to be shallower with faces that spread out along the underside of the bowl. I have always loved the minimalism of this bowl with the faces carved in relief with simple clear lines. And the patina is exceptional with lighter areas of wear where the bowl rested on the ground, glossy areas of smoothness and then this sweating dark black surface from coconut oil. The bowl is late 19th/early 20th century, 16 3/8” (41.5 cm) in length.