Buka Paddle-Pitt Rivers Museum 1887-Oceanic Art
Buka paddle, Buka or Bougainville Island, North Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea
Acquired by Lieutenant General Augustus Lane Fox Pitt Rivers on June 10th, 1887, from Fenton & Sons, London
Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England
Illustrated in the Pitt Rivers Museum Acquisition Journal Vol. 3. P. 323
Abraham Rosman and Paula Rubel, New York
Sotheby’s New York, 8 April 2021, lot 45
64 ½” (163.8 cm) in length
Acquired in 1887 in London, this has to be one of the earliest securely documented Buka paddles in private hands. The classic kokorra spirit face is elegantly and precisely composed in low relief and painted with red, black, and white pigments. Below the face, written in pencil, is “P 323,” indicating the page in the Pitt Rivers acquisition journal. The original Fenton & Sons label is still intact.
Published in "OCEANIC ART: PROVENANCE AND HISTORY" edited by Michael Hamson, pages 20/21, item 4.