Pre-contact Abelam Figure-Harry Franklin Collection-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art Pre-contact Abelam Ancestral Spirit Figure, nggwalndu Central Abelam area, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea Harry A. Franklin, Beverly Hills, acquired by 1960 Sotheby’s New York, Pacific Art from the Collection of Harry A. Franklin, 13 May 2019, lot 80 Published: The Lang Art Galleries, The Primitive Arts of the Sepik River, New Guinea, from the Collection of Mr. Harry A. Franklin, Scripps College, Claremont, 1960, no. 3079 Art of New Guinea: Ralph C. Altman, Sepik, Maprik and Highlands, Los Angeles, 1967, no. 219, p. 64 George R. Ellis: Oceanic Art: A Celebration of Form, San Diego, 2009, no. 11, p. 32 Exhibited: The Lang Art Galleries, Scripps College, Claremont, The Primitive Arts of the Sepik River, New Guinea, from the Collection of Mr. Harry A. Franklin, October 18–December 17, 1960 The Ethnic Art Galleries, University of California, Los Angeles, Art of New Guinea: Sepik, Maprik and Highlands, November 6–December 30, 1967 University Art Museum, University of Texas at Austin, circa April 1–30, 1968 San Diego Museum of Art, Oceanic Art: A Celebration of Form, January 31, 2009– January 3, 2010 Pre-contact, stone-carved, 19th century or before 84” (213.4 cm) in height As both a field collector and a graduate student, my emphasis was heavily on the Abelam. While Abelam material was regularly represented in exhibition catalogs and surveys of New Guinea and Oceanic art, very few of the figures were noteworthy. The oldest and finest was this present sculpture illustrated in Art of New Guinea: Sepik, Maprik and Highlands. For the past 25 years, I used this piece as my gold standard and benchmark that all other Abelam figures were judged against. It is a great honor to finally own this masterpiece.