Sissano Lagoon Pectoral-New Guinea Art-Oceanic Art
If one looks at the attached photograph from Richard Neuhauss from 1908 in Sissano Lagoon you will see a man pulling back his bow about to launch an arrow. He is wearing a wide bark belt and a boar’s tusk and arbus seed pectoral of the type offered here. The pectoral is worn not as an item of adornment but more for protection of the chest. The present example is an especially fine one with both black and red arbus seeds and a full complement of boar’s tusks. On the surface of one tusk is written Wissel. There was a planter named Friedrich Wissel based in Madang in 1913 but that is just a guess as the potential original collector of the item. On the reverse are a number of partial labels that I have yet to figure out. The piece dates to the late 19th/early 20th century, is 14” (35.6 cm) in height.