Galerie Meyer – Oceanic & Eskimo Art, catalogue for Frieze Masters 2013

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Galerie Meyer Oceanic A rt & E skimo A rt stand G9 stand phone + 33 680 10 80 22

Anthony JP Meyer

Galerie Meyer Oceanic A rt & E skimo A rt

17 Rue des Beaux-­‐Arts -­‐ Paris 75006 -­‐ France TEL : + 33 1 43 54 85 74 Cell : + 33 6 80 10 80 22 www.galerie-­‐meyer-­‐oceanic-­‐

FRIEZE MASTERS 2012 inaugurated new vistas for British and international collectors, bringing together beautiful and rare works of art from the world’s cultures and offering them in a refined contemporary atmosphere in the heart of London. For FRIEZE MASTERS 2013, my selection is, as usual, eclectic in genre and origin and, as usual, completely focused on quality and beauty. Collection provenance has become a serious issue in the last decade and traceability is of the utmost pertinence : references like previous ownership, early acquisition dates, notable publications and exhibitions have all become extremely important - I’ll push it a bit further by adding the base-maker - in this case the renowned Kichizô Inagaki, a Paris-based Japanese base-maker who worked for Auguste Rodin and the tribal art dealers and collectors in the early 20th century. Tracking provenance can be an arduous and time-consuming task - often more so than finding and acquiring the actual object. A case in point is the Maori lintel on the cover of this catalogue, which has taken me 13 years to reconnect with its early history. Today, collectors are Epicureans, looking for treasures to add to the eclectic group of art works that they live with. Mixing and matching at the highest levels is a delightful task and yes - Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder ! There is something remarkably satisfying about grouping on a 17th century Boulle table, a minute Eskimo figure from the 1st century BC next to a black-ware vase by Jouve, a Paleolithic flint axe, and a New Guinea mask all together under a drawing by Warhol next to a portrait by Corneille de Lyon. What counts is that YOU LIKE IT and that the pieces are of the VERY BEST QUALITY acquired from the VERY BEST DEALERS - and this is what FRIEZE MASTERS is all about !


Jack (?) & Anthony JP Meyer with mast-fork on Egum Islet, 1987.


An extremely rare mast-fork or sawasu from an ocean-going canoe. The fork is used horizontally to support the single, free-stepped mast and keep it upright. It also serves as the stanchion for the sail hoist-rope. The “ears” of the figure are used as cleats for the tying-off of the halyard. This fork is of special interest in that it was carved on Egum islet where there is no canoe-carving tradition - the islet, situated in the center of Egum Atoll, is so small that the people must purchase their canoes from the large neighboring islands. This fork is the replacement for the deficient original fork delivered with the canoe. This may explain the atypical face and animated attitude of the stylized human figure which this fork represents. Only three mast-forks of this type were thought to be in collections outside of New Guinea as of 1987. Egum Islet, Egum Atoll, Massim Area, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia. Wood with a weathered maritime patina and functional rubbing and wear. 139,5 x 34 cm. Early to mid 20th century. Collected on Egum Islet by Dr. Harry Beran and Anthony JP Meyer, January/February 1987. Illustrated : LE PAYS MASSIM. Galerie Meyer, Paris. 1987, N°1 of the catalogue. OCEANIE, ART DE L'OCEANIE. Galerie Meyer, Paris.1988, N° 17, p. 23 of the catalogue. Meyer, Anthony JP: OCEANIC ART / OZEANISCHE KUNST / ART OCEANIEN. Könemann Verlag, Köln. 1995, Fig. 128, page 138/139.

The interior view of a Massim canoe showing how the mast-fork is installed and lashed to the mast. It is interesting to note that in the Northern Central Massim area, the canoe type of Gawa Island in the Marshall Bennett Archipelago (which Egum Atoll is part of) uses a humanoid mastfork with the face clearly defined and looking up like the present example, while in the Southern M a s s i m a re a , t h e m a s t i s supported by a double-forked strut without anthropomorphic representation.


A very fine dance mask representing an ancestral spirit, or yamburai brag. Turubu Village, North-Coast, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia. Wood with pigments. 44 x 17 x 10 cm. Early 20th century. Collected in the field between 1936 and 1939 by the SVD missionary Prof. Georg Höltker (1895 - 1976). Ex SVD (Societas Verbi Divini - Society of the Divine Word) Mission Museum, Haus der Völker und Kulturen, Sankt Augustin, Germany, Inv. N° 71-10-11. De-accessioned by exchange with Ulrich Hoffmann. Illustrated : Hoffmann, U. : FASZINATION ALT-AMERIKA, Verlag Arte America, Stuttgart 2002, page 159. Provenance : a private German collection; a private French collection.


A very fine suspension hook in the form of stylized elongated Janus human heads representing ancestors. The exaggerated noses can be related to the mei mask representations of the Middle Sepik. The wide spread hook points represent the open wings of the Harpy eagle with its stylized head protruding downwards. Chambri Lake, Middle Sepik River, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia. Wood with a patina of age and wear. 37,5 cm. 19th/20th century. Provenance : Ludwig Bretschneider (1909/1987), Munich c. 1940/1950; the remains of an inventory number and notation are visible on one side of the hook. Ex private French collection. See a similar example in the collections of the MusĂŠe Barbier-MĂźller, Geneva.

Ludwig Bretschneider

Kichizô Inagaki signature


Ynes & Gerald Cramer and their children with Pablo Picasso.

A male amulet figure, worn as a charm or attached to a man’s carrying bag, and representing an ancestor. The exaggerated nose - while typical of the local iconography - is here remarkably well developed and this amulet offers an iconic example of the much appreciated and highly collectable small figures from the Sepik River. A splayed quadruped on the helmet-like coif has its forelegs sweeping into the facial surround and terminating at the ears which are pierced twice. The nose is pierced as well; and there is a slotted hole for suspension at the top of the coif under the topknot. Lower Sepik River, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia. Wood with remains of thick red ochre and inlayed with turret-shell beads in eyes. 18,7 x 3,3 x 3,2 cm. 19th/ 20th century. On a signed Kichizô Inagaki wood base. Ex coll. : Ynes & Gerald Cramer, Geneva. The Cramers were renowned art dealers and publishers, notably of books and etchings of Miro, Ernst, Chagall, Moore, Picasso & Braque, and long before that the family also published Voltaire. This figure was probably acquired from their close friend New York tribal art dealer John J. Klejman in the 1950/1960’s.

In 1960, Rosalind & Philip Goldman, specializing in African, Oceanic and Asian art, opened Gallery 43 on George Street in London subsequently moving to Davies Street. Goldman made several collecting trips to New Guinea between 1957 and 1969, notably in the Korowori and Hunstein areas. In October of 1971, the gallery offered an exhibition of early New Guinea sculpture including the present Bahinemo garra and published their groundbreaking catalogue Hunstein Korowori.

The British sculptor Henry Moore experimented with pointed forms in the 1930’s and 40‘s. His bronze sculpture Three Points (1939-1940), second from top left in the drawing below, is often described as being influenced by the hook figures of the Korowori and/or Hunstein areas of New Guinea. Moore, in an interview in 1941*, likens Oceanic art - notably that of New Guinea - to “...drawn out spider-like extensions and bird-beak elongations...”.

He may have seen one of the very few yipwon in circulation before WW II but Moore probably did not see a garra as they were discovered only in the late 1950‘s and very early 60‘s (as were the majority of yipwon). In the drawing here titled Pointed Forms (1940), he plays with multiple variations and permutations of “opposing hook points” even going to the extreme of including them inside the human form. The idea of extruded hook points is probably a natural extension of his interest at the time in tribal art forms, surrealism and the extreme stylization of the human form, almost to the point of abstraction. *Henry Moore - Writings and Conversations. Alan Wilkinson (ed.), University of California Press, Los Angeles, 2002, pp. 104/105


A garra ritual object composed of four concentric hook points surrounding a pierced central “heart“. The backbone is pierced along the outer edges to each side with three holes for the attachment of tassels and feather ornaments. The aged painted decor was initially black on the outside of the hooks, white on the inside with red strips on the edges and crests of the hooks and highlighted with white dots on the black. Bahinemo People (possibly Nigulu Village), Hunstein Mountains, Middle Sepik, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia. Stone-carved hard wood with original pigments and a patina of considerable age and use. 139,5 cm. 19th/20th century or earlier (C-14 test pending). Field collected by Dr. Philip Goldman. Exhibited at Gallery 43, HUNSTEIN KOROWORI, London, 1971 (original base by Frank Thomas). Ex coll. : Van Bussel, Amsterdam, N° FG 002; Private collection, the Netherlands.

Little is yet known with certainty about the garra and their function. There are two types : the first is the concentric hook garra; they are ritual objects in the shape of highly stylized human beings. The second is the mask-like garra, which is wider and in many cases carved in the form of a human face with or without hook points. The concentric hook garra are thought to be related to water spirits and are associated with water; they are possibly representations of catfish. Alternatively they are thought to represent an image of the cosmos with the hooks as hornbill beaks distributed around the middle element of the sun and moon. The hornbill, a large bird, represents the “messenger“ between the land of the living and the world of the spirits, and in some cases the outermost hooks are often carved as complete and instantly recognizable hornbill heads. The more prosaic theory is that the points represent the rib cage of a stylized human body, which has been flattened and turned on edge with the “heart” in the center. One thing seems certain though - the use of the hook as a symbolic and decorative element in the art of New Guinea and notably amongst the Bahinemo, Yimar and Ewa groups stems from an archaic source, and is probably related far back to the Bronze Age cultures of South-East Asia and their early eastward migrations. On concentric hook garra, the hooks are placed exactly like those of a yipwon, the great war and hunting spirit figure of the neighboring Yimar People (see the example on the far left). Here however, the geometry of the two inner hooks on the present garra is slightly different from that of a yipwon, with the hooks being unilaterally scooped out on the inside of the lower section of the curve giving a greater visual tension to the sculpture. The inside curve of these inner hooks has the remains of a thick impasto of white lime. The garra were hung from the rafters in the Men’s House when not in ceremonial use. During ritual usage for initiation or hunting and warfare ceremonies, the concentric garra were danced held between the legs of the dancers.


A smaller size Spirit Board (gope) which Prof. William Patten (1912) refers to as titi ebiha in the local language. The board represents a specific and important ancestor. The figure with its powerful and overly large head is quite graceful and animated. The openwork space under the legs and the overall design of this board is remarkably similar to one Patten photographed in 1912 (visible here in the background image). Kerewa People, Goaribari Island, Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia. Wood, original natural pigments (white lime, black charcoal, red ochre) 108,7 x 17 cm. Late 19th to very early 20th century. The letters GM in black paint on the reverse. Provenance: Sold at auction, H么tel Drouot, Paris, July 6, 1982. Acquired by a notable French collector and subsequently by descent.


A rare cuirass or body-armour made of plaited cane. Fly River, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia. 42,5 x 36,5 x 29 cm. Collected in the field prior to 1910. Ex coll. : P.L. collection c. 1910; L.R. Hornshaw (1903-85), eldest son of B.L. Hornshaw, Australia; presented to a subsequent owner by L.R.H. on 14/3/1935. With a paper label stating “Cuirass or corselet, body protector against arrows Fly River New Guinea 1910, Pres. By L.R.H 14.3.35” on one side and “Body protector, Fly River New Guinea from P.L. collection (1910), Pres. By L.R.H. 1935” on the other.

An identical woven cane cuirass collected by Luigi Maria D'Albertis on the Fly River expeditions between 1876 and 1877 and published by him in NEW GUINEA - WHAT I DID AND WHAT I SAW, Vol. I and II. London: S. Low Marston Searle & Rivington, 1880, p. 126, vol II.


A very rare fighting club/staff for which there is no descriptive information regarding the main asymmetrical motif of the large striking area. The spikes can be interpreted as both the dorsal fin of a fish, and/or the crenelated beak of the hornbill bird, however this interpretation is not based on any information obtained directly from a Kamoro source. There are five, cut-through, mopere motifs which represent the maternal navel and thus the Creation, or essence of life. Otakwa River, Kamoro (Mimika) Language group, Indonesian New Guinea, Melanesia. Hard reddish veined wood with a patina of age. One side is lighter from exposure to daylight, as if displayed for an extended period of time. 195,5 x 12,5 cm. 19th/20th century. There is a trace of an old painted label on the shaft under the striking head. Ex private Dutch collection. Directing the first Dutch military expedition of exploration in Southwest New Guinea in 1913 Antony J. Gooszen collected seven war-clubs of this type which are in the RijksMuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden. A number of other club/staffs of slightly different form were collected in the early 20th century along the lower reaches of the Otakwa River, notably an anthropomorphic example collected by W. de Jong in 1903.


A fishing device in the form of a floating propeller used to catch sharks. The two blades of the float are decorated with deeply incised concentric triangle motifs. The float retains its woven split cane noose which is used to lasso the shark and then draw it tight against the body of the float allowing the fisherman to stun the shark with a short bludgeon. Kantu Village, New Ireland, Bismarck Archipelago, Melanesia. Wood (alstonia) cane and lime highlights. 153,5 x 13,5 cm. 20th century. The shark catcher is a highly specialized man, revered and respected for his lore and magical capabilities. He most often lives secluded from the village, in a specific compound where he teaches his craft to a select group of apprentices. Shark catching and shark-calling (the use of magical incantations and rituals used to draw the sharks in towards the shore) are a mainstay of the religious and socio-economical system particular to New Ireland. A shark caller’s equipment consists of a float, a coconut shell rattle, a short club, and a triton shell trumpet. In earlier times, shark calling involved the use of limestone shark effigies and in at least one instance the central post of the shark callers’ house was carved with sharks and a birthing female figure (see the stone shark and the carved post in the Linden Museum, Stuttgart; ex Galerie Meyer). Shark calling is also practiced in the Admiralty Islands and in various forms throughout Fiji, Tonga, the Society Islands and the Tuamotu Islands.

new guinea object

Note the two propeller-like floats on the canoe of the New Ireland shark-callers as seen by Abel Tasman in 1642/43.


A rare tear-drop kapkap with two stylized frigate birds and a serrated border. Solomon Islands, Melanesia. Tridacna gigas shell (Giant Clam). 7,3 x 4,6 x 0,3 cm. 19th century or earlier. Ex coll. : Roger & Josette Dupont, La Varenne, France. A very similar example is shown in the background image photographed in the Christy collection in 1863. Not only is the shape identical but the incised frigate birds are in exactly the same position and style indicating that both kapkap are probably by the same artist.


A ceremonial hammer or club used for the ritualized killing of pigs. The Janus smiling human faces are crowned with a rooster’s comb while the pointed edge of the outer eye represents the fowl's beak. Hammers were used to sacrifice the valuable pigs that were needed at each ceremonial moment that took place in a man's life. Ambrym Island, Vanuatu, Melanesia. Stone-carved wood with original pigments. 49,5 cm. 19th century. Provenance : acquired in the 1930’s by a French wool buyer based in Queensland; thence by descent. Note the one curved, and two full circle pig tusks worn as a chest ornament by the young man in the photograph taken by Rev. Dr. William T. Gunn (1853-1935) in the 1880’s on Santo Island. The fuller the curve, the more valuable the tusk became, with some growing full circle and more. The pigs destined for production of full circle tusks had their upper tusks knocked out so that they did not wear away the lower ones allowing the canine to grow into a full circle. In most cases, the tusk usually reentered the gums and even the jaw bone, causing the pig tremendous pain. Full circle tusked pigs were personally cared for and hand-fed to protect the tusks from damage.


A very fine war-spear carved with an overly large ancestor head. A weapon of this caliber and quality would be the property of an important chief. The large head is carved in the manner of the great apouema masks worn for the funerary rituals of the chief with the tall, bee-hive like coif and the long pointed beard. The small intricately woven back board is attached to the spear with white tapa wrappings. New Caledonia, Melanesia. Wood with burnt bancoul nut blackening, fiber & tapa. 227,5 cm total (head : 7 x 2,5 cm). 19th century. Collection of the French Vice-Amiral Frédéric Jean Dorlodot des Essarts (1832-1899), second Gouverneur des Établissements français de l'Océanie (1881/1883). Ex coll.: Claude Meyer, Paris.

Gouverneur Bouge (left) with Henri Matisse during the artist’s visit to French Polynesia in 1930.


A rare royal necklace - or lei - composed of five large, barrel-shaped beads mounted on a fiber cord. These beads, which each consumed a large portion of a whale tooth, were of the utmost importance and very few were ever collected. Sperm whales were not hunted by the Polynesians before the arrival in the late 18th century of the first European whalers. The rare and desirable teeth and bones of the great whales were only available when a carcass washed ashore - a very rare event indeed ! The spool or barrel shape is a very archaic form of ornament in Polynesia and is often found only in the earliest periods of development. The shape was still in usage in the islands of Wallis & Futuna, Fiji and Tonga in the 19th century. ‘Uvea island (Wallis Island), Wallis and Futuna, Polynesia. Sperm whale tooth and fiber cord. Largest bead is 5,8 x 3,5 Ø cm. 18/19th century. Collected by Gouverneur Louis Joseph Bouge (1878 - 1960), the interim French Resident of Wallis Island in 1911/1912 (see the label in Bouge’s handwriting “Lei, collier Wallis, 1911”). A single identical bead, probably removed from this necklace, is in the L. J. Bouge collection, Musée des Beaux Arts, Chartres, donated by his widow Emma Quille Bouge in 1970 (desc. : pp. 72/73, ill. : Pl. 16, N° 2, LES OBJETS OCEANIENS, série polynésienne, vol. 1, Guiot H. & Stefani C. (ed.), Musée des Beaux Arts, Chartres, 2002). Ex coll. : the artist Jacques Boullaire (1893 - 1976) known for his depictions of French Polynesia. Boullaire and Bouge were both members of the Société des Océanistes in Paris in the 1950’s, however there is no record showing how Boullaire acquired this necklace from Bouge.


A dance paddle or paki used in a specific dance known as me‘e tu'u paki (dance standing with paddles). This example is unusual in that it is pierced along the edges for tassels and embellishments. Tonga Islands or possibly ‘Uvea (Wallis) Island, Polynesia. Stone-carved wood. 85,5 x 18,3 x 2,3 cm 19th century or earlier. Ex coll. JeanYves Coué, Nantes (N° JYC 178). The me‘e tu'u paki is one of the earliest dances ever viewed by Europeans in the Pacific and Captain Cook described it in detail : ‘It was a kind of dance, performed by men and youths of the first rank; ... Any number may perform it, there were in this one hundred and five, each having in his hand an Instrument shaped something like a paddle of 2.5 feet in length, with a small handle and thin blade so that they were very light and the most of them neatly made. With these Instruments, they made many and various flourishes each of which was attended with a different attitude of the body and some different movement or another. They at first ranged themselves in three lines, and by different movements and motions each man changed his station in such a manner that those who were in the rear came in front. Nor did they remain long in the same form, but these changes were made by pretty quick movements; they at one time extended themselves in one line then formed into a semicircle and lastly into two square Columns, while this last was performing, one of them came and danced a harlequin dance before me with which the whole ended.’* *Beaglehole, John Cawte, The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery The Voyage of the Resolution and Discovery 1776-1780, Hakluyt Society, Extra Series, 36, 1 u. 2. vol. 3, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1955-1967 IIIa and IIIb.


A large u’u, an elaborate and stately type of war-club or ceremonial mace. The Janus head of this club is decorated with 14 human representations carved as heads and faces within faces. To either side of the club-head is a secondary “eye-nose“ mask over a carved panel engraved with ornamental tattoo-like bands. The butt terminates in a crescent-form pierced finial with the remains of a fiber snood. The u’u represents a male ancestor reduced to its most basic body parts : a head at the top of the shaft and a stylized penis at the bottom. The dark patina is obtained by soaking the finished club in the mud of a taro patch and then laboriously oiling the weapon with coconut oil, sealing in the deep brown to black coloration. While u’u are surely weapons, they were most probably emblems of status and power reserved for an elite minority, possibly warrior chiefs or even priests. Although the object type appears from a distance to be standardized in format, the extreme individuality of the carved and incised motifs makes each u’u a unique work of art. Marquesas Islands, Polynesia. Toa wood, iron-wood (casuarina equisetifolia). 147,3 x 18,6 x 10,9 cm. 18th/19th century. Originally acquired from Alain de Monbrison, Paris. Provenance : a private French collection.


A superb small lintel or pare (also known as korupe) from a marae, the meeting-house, or from a pataka, the chiefly treasure and food storage house. Taupo area, Maori People, Central North Island, New Zealand, Polynesia. Kauri pine wood (agathis australis) and red pigment, called kokowai, which is obtained by mixing finely ground natural ochre with shark-liver oil. 70 x 29.5 x 7.8 cm. Early te huringa period (The Turning) pre 1850. Reputedly carved by Master-Carver Wero Taroi of Rotorua iwi, Te Arawa. Provenance: Originally acquired by John Joshua, owner, from 1886 to 1897, of the Spa Hotel (Lofley’s Hotel) at Taupo near Rotorua and brought to Australia upon his retirement c. 1897. Ex Galerie Christine Valuet, Paris. Ex private collection, Paris. Exhibited : Museum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden & Linden Museum, Stuttgart, 2010 to 2012. Published : Edge-Partington, J., 1895. AN ALBUM OF THE WEAPONS, TOOLS, ORNAMENTS, ARTICLES OF DRESS ETC. OF THE NATIVES OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS. SECOND SERIES. (Issued for private circulation by J. Edge-Partington and C. Heape). The Holland Press, 1969, vol II, pl. 151. Veys, F.W. : MANA MAORI – The Power of New Zealand’s First Inhabitants. Leiden University Press, 2010, page 63. Hermann, I.; Veys, F.W. : MAORI – Die Ersten Bewohner Neuseelands. Linden Museum, Stuttgart, 2012, p. 35.

This remarkable lintel comes from the Spa Hotel at Taupo founded by Edward Lofley in 1869. John Joshua took over the hotel in 1886. Besides being the earliest hotel in Taupo, the originality of Lofley’s Spa Hotel was the full size Maori meeting house or marae that served as the hotel dining room for many years. The present lintel and at least three other Maori carvings were removed from the Spa Hotel and taken to Australia by John Joshua upon his retirement c. 1897 yet were offered at Sotheby’s Australia in 1997 as being from the family of “John Jacobs”, owner of a Spa at Rotorua and having retired to Australia circa 1892. The illustration in Edge-Partington issued in 1895 of this lintel is from a drawing done by Augustus Hamilton, the second director of the Colonial Museum (later the Dominion Museum, Wellington, NZ), and it indicates that Hamilton saw the lintel in-situ at the Spa Hotel at Taupo as he notes the location of the lintel as “Lofley’s Hotel“. This puts the lintel at Taupo before 1895 and not at Rotorua; which opens the door to the strong probability that Sotheby’s Australia and/or the vendors family advertently or inadvertently changed the provenance and date for the 1997 auction catalogue inducing error into the history of the four sculptures. It is of interest to note that this lintel is one of the very few art-works that are illustrated by Edge-Partington and which are still in private hands. The large, round, painted eyes visible in the Sotheby’s illustration of 1997 are later additions to ensure a comical view of Maori art and enhance the carving’s appeal to Europeans. These painted eyes are not visible in the Hamilton/Edge-Partington drawing and were carefully removed shortly after the 1997 auction.

Excerpt from an article describing the marae at Lofley’s Spa Hotel and its history. John Joshua here is called Joseph - a change of name and probably an error. The article also suggests that the Master Carver Wero Taroi was active c. 1800/1810, which appears to be quite a bit too early - more likely he was born during this period, as he is believed to have died in the 1880’s.

Edward Lofley, circa 1865. He is wearing a bush shirt and kilt, the informal uniform of the Armed Constabulary of which he was Quartermaster. The founder of Lofley’s Hotel & Spa at Taupo around 1869, he was also a local guide, journalist and was married first to a Maori woman and subsequently to Rosanna Boyle. He sold the Spa Hotel to John Joshua in 1886 and died in 1889.

Edge-Partington’s drawing of the lintel after the sketch supplied by Augustus Hamilton in the early 1890’s. There are only minor discrepancies between the actual lintel and the illustration - notably the rounded eyes of the central figure, the interlocking curves to either side of the central figure and the decorative filler carving below them.

The four Maori works of art from the “John Jacobs family” as sold by Sotheby’s Australia in 1997.

The photograph below taken around 1890 by J.W. Birnie showing John Joshua and his wife in front of the marae Te Tiki O Tamamutu at Taupo is interesting for several reasons. It shows that the marae, as the dining room of the Spa Hotel, has been “westernized” by the addition of a large hanging lamp and paneled glazed windows. On the front wall to the left of the window a series of photographs of Maori subjects and architecture are displayed which appear to be contemporary views of the marae, perhaps explaining its history. The long frontal boards of the roof facia are not carved here, yet in later images they are shown with fully carved ends.

Chief Hohepa Tamamutu who sold the marae Te Tiki O Tamamutu to John Joshua for £150 in the summer of 1886.

Mr and Mrs John Joshua in front of the marae Te Tiki O Tamamutu at the Spa Hotel, Taupo c. 1890.

Inside view of the dining room c. 1909

Eskimo Art Eskimo objects reproduced in B/W are actual size


A small shaman's figure representing an ancestor in a regal pose. The facial features are clearly defined and the face is decorated with linear tattoo markings on the forehead and nose. The eyebrows are indicated and the torso is carefully engraved with chevron tattoo motifs on both sides. The body presents a vertical tapered channel on both sides dividing the descending chevrons and returning their points upward. Okvik Culture, Saint Lawrence Island, Bering Strait, Alaska. Mineralized walrus tusk. 5,2 cm. 250 BC – 100 AD.



This complete object, a chain with pendant and attachment was probably used for shamanistic events or was part of a shaman’s costume. The conical pendant is pierced very delicately at the tip for the fixation of another ornament probably ephemeral. The whole object is carved from one solid piece of walrus tusk - there are no breaks or joinery, or repairs. Chains and chain-links do not exist in nature, nor is ivory of sufficient tensile strength to be used as a functional chain. Chains were invented through the advent of the bronze and iron-age metal cultures. The early migrations towards the East heading out from Siberia over the Bering Strait to Alaska were originally from these metal cultures; however, the ore and material needed to smelt it were not available and so the manufacture of metal was obviously abandoned. Metal, notably iron, continued to be imported in very limited quantities by the Arctic cultures through contact and exchange with Siberian peoples. Deep in the collective memory, the notion of chain-links must have continued to exist and the nonfunctional ivory chains became ceremonial and ritual objects of importance, like their early metal western counterparts. Carved ivory chains are found in both the Okvik and Punuk cultures of the Bering Strait as well as in the later Thule culture right up to the present period. Punuk Culture, Saint Lawrence Island, Bering Strait, Alaska. Mineralized walrus tusk. 25,19 cm. 600 to 900 AD.


A headless figure with extensive linear tattoos on its chest and wearing a delicate necklace with five ornaments. The waist is defined with an incised line and the pubic protrusion is highlighted with a profusion of incised dots. The figure stands straight with its arms and hands held behind its back, either in a position of contemplation or possibly that of an attached slave or prisoner. Punuk culture, Saint Lawrence Island, Bering Strait, Alaska. Mineralized walrus tusk. 11,3 cm. 600 to 900 AD. Ex private collection, Italy.


This astounding work of art carved in the form of an open-mouthed, screaming human head is possibly an ornament from a hunter’s helmet, from a shaman’s costume or more prosaically a simple finger rest. The perfection and naturalism of the features and the haunting expression are testament to the artist’s incredible talent. The aging of the ivory, buried in the tundra, frozen and thawed each year over the last millennium, adds to the beauty of this “monumental miniature”. Thule Culture, Bering Strait, Alaska. Mineralized walrus tusk. 4,4 cm. circa 1000 AD.


A rare form of ornament (possibly a pendant) with several aspects to it that can be visually related to earlier Asian cultures pointing us perhaps in a new direction in trying to define the origin of the Eskimo cultures as we know them now. This pendant is pierced through the front four times with no regard for the engraved decorative elements indicating that it was probably recycled at a later date. The four slits grouped as pairs connect to vertical cylindrical lodgings drilled from above down into the mass of the ivory. The overall form of this ornament is reminiscent - in a stylized fashion - of the so-called “cloud” objects in nephrite from the archaic Chinese Hongshan culture (4700 2900 BC). The two curved, branched and dotted lines that originate from the central circle/dot motif might be stylized caribou or elk antlers but what is most intriguing are the two stylized anthropomorphic beings each composed of an elongated diamond-form body over a circle/dot and surmounted by a long neck ending in another circle/dot with three notches. Two long curved arms jut from the diamond body and end with dots. These humanoid forms are remarkably reminiscent and stylistically similar to the anthropomorphic representations of the aboriginal Yami people of Taiwan. These visual similarities do not provide any plausible answers but they do possibly open up new subjects for discussion. Punuk Culture, Bering Strait, Alaska. Mineralize walrus tusk. 11,4 cm. 600 to 900 AD.

Above : Nephrite, double-curved “cloud” object excavated at Hongshan mausoleum site N° 1, from mausoleum N° 27, China. Below : A more archaic example from a private Chinese collection. Yami figures. 19th century. Taiwan.


A snow-knife or marrow-knife carved with a caribou head as the handle. Thule culture, Norton Sound/Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Caribou rib bone. 23 cm. 16th/19th century. Ex private collection, France.



A minute armless doll which was possibly used as a child's toy. The pose and the attention to detail are remarkably naturalistic and charming. Yup’ik Culture, Alaska. Water-soaked wood. 6 cm. 18th/19th century.


A powerfully carved miniature mask. Kodiak Island, Alaska. Wood with a patina of age and use. 8,5 x 4 x 2,2 cm. 18th/19th century. Possibly Ex Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, New York, as there are traces of an old Heye-type label on the rear.

Photo credits : All works of art : Michel Gurfinkel, Paris. © Galerie Meyer - Oceanic Art, Paris Other illustrations and excerpts : • Front cover background : Frank Arnold Coxhead (?), c. 1880. : Giant Ferns, New Zealand. N.Z. 368 F.B. © Collection Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer, Paris • Title pages : AJPM : General view. © Collection Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer, Paris • 1) Harry Beran : Jack (?) and AJPM on Egum islet. 1987. © Collection Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer, Paris • 1) AJPM : Canoe with mast-fork on Gawa. 1987. © Collection Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer, Paris • 2) Prof. Georg Höltke : • 2) • 3) Ludwig Bretschneider : • 4) Ynes & Gerald Cramer and their children with Pablo Picasso. © Archives Gerald Cramer, Geneva • 5) Pointed Forms 1940 (HMF1496). Reproduced by permission of The Henry Moore Foundation • 6) Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; photo by William Patten; HMA 542 • 9) New Ireland shark callers. After a drawing by Isaac Gilsemansin from the Abel Tasman log book in the Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, the Netherlands. © Collection Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer collection, Paris • 10) Stephen Thomson (1830-1893), 1863, printed 1870. : 66. Ornaments of shell-work. Salomon Islands. Christy Coll. © Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer collection, Paris • 11) Rev. Dr. William T. Gunn (1853-1935) : c. 1880’s : Boy with club on Santo Island. © Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer collection, Paris • 12) Vice-Amiral des Essarts : © Collection Hervé Bernard • 13) Gouverneur Bouge & Henri Matisse : • 14) Text : • 16) Excerpt from article : Spa%20Thermal%20Park/Appendices-part-2.pdf • 16) Edward Lofley. New Zealand Free Lance : Photographic prints and negatives. Ref: 1/2-044655-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. • 16) Four Maori sculptures. © Sotheby’s Australia, 1997. • 16) Chief Hohepa Tamamutu. © Collection Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer, Paris • 16) Mr and Mrs John Joshua (2nd and 3rd from left) outside a Maori meeting house in Taupo circa 1890. Part of: Birnie, J.W.: Photographs taken in Taupo including the Spa Hotel, Ref: 1/2-028367-F Date: [ca 1890]. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. • 16) Inside view of dining room. © Collection Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer, Paris • Facing p.17 : Albert Tissandier (1839/1906) : Esquimau et son kayak, 1885 -1886. © Collection Cayetana & Anthony JP Meyer, Paris • 21) • 21) • 21) Detail from a Yami house post : Don Tuttle Photography. © Collection Nelly Frize Every effort has been made to ensure correct copyright procedure. In the event you feel that your copyright has not been correctly asserted please contact Galerie Meyer - Oceanic Art, Paris. Layout and artwork : Galerie Meyer - Oceanic Art, Paris. Printed by TREFLE COMMUNICATION, Paris. September 2013, 1000 copies. All contents, information, text, images etc are © Galerie Meyer-Oceanic Art and the individual copyright holders. Reproduction or publication in any form or format, either whole or partial, of the items, images, photos, works of art and texts contained in this publication is prohibited without formal written approval with the exception of reviews and press usage. My thanks go to the organizers of FRIEZE MASTERS and to STABILO for their excellent work organizing the fair. My thanks to our photographer Michel Gurfinkel; our base-makers : Manuel Do Carmo, the Atelier Punchinello, and Francois Lunardi; and to our restorers Brigitte Martin & Edouard Vatinel. The following people and institutions have been most helpful : Claude Stefani, Virginia Lee Webb, Frédéric Mathieu, Hervé Bernard, the Heye Foundation-Museum of the American Indian, Vonu Weys, David van Duuren, Dr. Harry Beran, Patrick Cramer, the Henry Moore Foundation, Lance Entwistle, the Alexander Turnbull Library, Will Channing, Thomas Murray, Bernard Frize, Laurence Goldman, Clive Goldman, and Barry Craig. Thanks as ever to my faithful and hard-working assistant Manuel Benguigui. A special mention for my wife and our children for their unfailing support, patience and affection.

my next fairs

15 -­‐ 24 March 2014

September 2014 Paris


Galerie Meyer Oceanic A rt & E skimo A rt 17 Rue des Beaux-­‐Arts -­‐ Paris 75006 -­‐ France TEL : + 33 1 43 54 85 74 Cell : + 33 6 80 10 80 22 www.galerie-­‐meyer-­‐oceanic-­‐ Membre du Syndicat Français des Experts Professionnels en Œuvres d’Art et Objets de Collection Membre de la Chambre Européenne des Experts d’Art Membre du Syndicat National des Antiquaires

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