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by appointment:

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Mobile : + 44 [0] 77 68 23 69 21

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Email : enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk

Website : www.finchandco.art

1 An Exceptional Samurai Kabuto

2 Superb and Very Large Japanese Vase

3 A Finely Carved Gandhara Head of Atlas 4 Large Oval Turned Amethyst Bowl
5 An Egyptian Porphyry Mortar
7 Rare and Unusual Fur Menpo Shokumo

8 A Finely Carved Maori Nephrite Mere Pounamu Patu

Carrying Box
An Openwork Copper Alloy Garment Pin 11 Hellenistic Gold Finger Ring with Carnelian Set Intaglio 12 A Pierced Oak Panel Depicting St Christopher

A Rare Ichimonji

Jingasa with Ando¯ Family Kamon in Shakudo

Kotiate Paraoa

Finely Carved Maori Whalebone Club

A Very Fine and Large Gallery Glass

A Rare Mat with Six Fishing Hooks
A Superb Baule Mask


Circular Box and Cover Containing Baltic Amber Gaming Counters

A Paris Embroidered Gaming Purse

A Superb Malakula Elongated Head

An Unusual No¯ Mask


23 A Rare and Important Late Roman Marble Column

The Medallic Illustrations of The Holy Scriptures by Sir Edward Thomason inspired by Carlo Maratta (1625–1713)

A Wide Western Australian Aboriginal Shield



An Elongated Western Australian Aboriginal Shield

27 A Very Fine Circular Porphyry Mortar
Polynesian Spurred
A Polynesian Spurred Sali Fighting
Fine Long Spear Sankaku Yari
31 A Fine Yumi Asymmetrical Bow
Fine Yumi Asymmetrical Bow

A Rare Pair

of Carved trompe-l’œil Hanging Fish
Maternity Group

A Group of Three Early Silver Dutch Spoons

Fine Jingasa Helmet
37 An English Nottingham
Alabaster of St Erasmus
38 Fine and Early Long Rootstock Club with Inlaid Teeth

39 A Very Rare and Unique Écorché Figure

40 Pair of Chinese Bamboo Vertical Flutes Xiao each Inscribed in Their Original Box Inscribed Made by Zhang Lunshan of Yuping Guizhou

Very Long Maori

Mere Patuki
42 A Rare Islamic Large Porphyry Mortar
43 Very Rare Bronze Goblet Illustrating the Story of Prince Kunala


Twelve Eskimo

Amuletic Hunting

Toggles / Pendants

45 A Rare Inuit Shaman’s Pouch



Carved Narwhal Goblet and Support Raised Upon a Turned Pear-Wood Base A Large Bridge Finial
Finely Carved Flemish Figure of a Man
A Samurai Archer’s Glove (Mitsugake) 三つ弽

51 Pair of Unusual Mughal Archer’s Thumb Rings

The Horrid Popish Plot Playing Cards 53 A Superb Pair of Neapolitan Carved Figures of Dwarfs
54 Unusual Namban Leather Wallet


A Quiver Shiko

Ebira Type and Four Combat Arrows Ya

A Rare Yaka / Zombo Figurative Headrest
57 Gold Insigne Badge or Button
58 An Unusual Carved Boxwood Sphere


Very Fine Maori Whalebone

Kotiate Paraoa

60 A Set of Four Tuscan Carved Wood and Parcel Gilt Equestrian Reliefs

Shona Headrest with Attached Glass Bead Strand
A Finely Carved Boni Neck-Rest
Very Fine Gold Mounted Lapis Lazuli Casket Inset with Rubies
64 A Maori Stone Club Patu Onewa
65 Small Bronze Group of a Prancing Stag
Fine Jingasa Helmet 67 A Rare Spirit Mask Barak or Yamburai Parak
68 An Italian Porphyry Mortar and Pestle
69 A Rare and Exceptional Carved Headrest Kali Hahapo
A Pair of Loving Doves Attributed to the Workshop of Grinling Gibbons (1648–1721)
A Long and Elegant Maori Patu Paraoa
72 A Rare and Important African Initiation Axe / Club

Travelling Priest’s Strongbox



Kanak Hardwood War Club 74b

An Unusually Small Vanuatu Ball Headed Club

74c Throwing Club Ula 74d A Polynesian Child’s Fighting Club
Fine Jingasa with Mother-of-Pearl Mosaic Decoration

76 A Very Fine and Rare Oceanic Club with Twenty-Nine Finely Carved Glyphs

77 A Rare and Early North West Coast Maternity Figure


Life-Size Roman Portrait Head of Constantine the Great (c.272–337)

79 Rare Zoomorphic Tsonga Headrest
80a A
Fine and Large
80b Khoisan Tobacco Smoking Pipe 81 A Native American Plains Lakota Sioux Swept Back Eagle Feather War Bonnet 82 A Fine Sculpture Depicting the Flagellation of Christ


Finely Carved Zoomorphic Headrest in the Form of an Antelope

84 An Unusual Berchtesgaden Turned Fantasy Tower in its Original Travelling Case

Superb and Rare

Jingasa in the Shape of Mount Fuji

An Unusually Large and Fine Tsonga Antelope Headrest
An Egyptian Porphyry Mortar and Pestle


A Small Egyptian Porphyry Mortar


Small Finely Marked Porphyry Mortar and Pestle

A Massive Eight Fold Byobu Screen with Nine Manchurian Cranes

89 Fine Baroque Grey Marble Oval Vase and Cover of Elegant Shape Raised upon an Oval Turned Marble Foot

A Large and Rare Anglo-Saxon / Celtic Stone Marker Stone


An Exceptional Samurai Kabuto

Tetsu sabiji 62 ken suji kabuto

Lacquer, copper, iron, material, cord, gilding.Signed: Jôshû-jû Saotome

Iesada 早乙女家定 Jo-Shu Ju

Saotome Iesada


Edo Period / Early 17th Century

size: approx: 32 cm high –12½ ins high / 50 cm high, 19¾ ins high (with antlers)

35.5 cm wide, 37 cm deep – 14 ins wide, 14½ ins deep / 77 cm high (with base) – 30¼ ins high (with base)

provenance: Luc Taelman collection

Ex Private collection

publications: Helmets of the Saotome School Orikasa, T; Taelman, L; and Anseeuw, J; February 1st 2010, pg. 68 and 69, item number 16

Koki no Shiori, Suji Kabuto and Koboshi Kabuto from the Late Feudal Period Teruo, Orikasa; (translation by Piers Dowding) August 2020, pg. 53

The helmets from the Saotome school are some of the finest examples of Japanese helmets. The founder of the Saotome school was Saotome Chikara, a middle class vassal of Tagaya Shigetsune. He was lord of Hitachi’s Shimotsuma Castle. After losing his properties in 1601 due to his refusal to participate in the Battle of Sekigahara, his income reduced dramatically. Remaining in Shimotsuma he started the production of helmets, thus being referred to as the first generation of the Saotome school, where his descendants still live today.

The bowl on our example is of a superior construction and quality. Both the Haidate-Dai and the Mabisashi are Saotome style. Two large original Wakidate tsunomoto fixed either side on the Koshimaki. The same Shakudo are used to form a fukurin around the edges of the Fukigaeshi and the Mabisashi. The Tehen-no-Za is formed of six layered fittings made from gilded copper and Shakudo. The Shikoro are Tetsu Kuro Nuri lame plates, in the six stage Hineno style, Kon (dark indigo) ito Sugake-odoshi, the lower section showing Uname and Hishinui, one layer of Hi-ito (scarlet) and the lower edge covered in a leather fukurin. The Fukigaeshi are rounded square in appearance, with black lacquered facings, and gilt copper Mongane crests of Jiku-tsuki Mittsu Fuji Tomoe (three wisteria branches swirling out from a central axis). To the inside of the reverse central plate signed:

Jo-Shu Ju Saotome Iesada.

and patina suggest a period of time outside, where the vase may have formed part of a scholars’ garden. The colour and patina gained from this exposure have created a wonderful mellow colour and deep glow. Old fissures and firing faults repaired with silver inlay. The base is missing, either through firing or maybe at a later date with European mounts or electrification. The tremendous size suggests this vase was destined for either a palace or high-ranking oYcial residence.

A Superb and Large Japanese Vase Superb colour and patina Bronze, silver


19th Century

size: 91.5 cm high, 66 cm dia. –36 ins high, 26 ins dia.

provenance: French Art Market 2010

Ex Private collection

A superb and very large high necked vase with a large bulbous gadrooned base. The overall colour

3 A Finely Carved Gandhara Head of Atlas

Grey schist


3rd – 4th Centuries ad size: 19 cm high, 11 cm wide, 12.5 cm deep – 7½ ins high, 4¼ ins wide, 5 ins deep

provenance: Ex Simon Ray Indian and Islamic Works of Art, London 2007

Ex Private collection

The finely carved dark grey polished schist head of a male complete with a refined moustache. It probably portrays Atlantes who is often seen in Gandharan sculpture, and loosely based on the Greek god Atlas

Gazing directly forward, his face is modelled with a serene expression in a stylised Helenistic style. His hair is grouped into large curls that cover part of his forehead as well as flowing above and behind his ears. Remains of his turban can still be seen with

its individual twisting bands of cloth. His protruding eyes are unusually large, sheltered beneath a heavy lidded brow. The strength and trance-like quality of his eyes engage the viewer instantly, the emotive intensity drawn closer through the detailing of the pupils.

According to Pratapaditya Pal, though Atlantes figures are often loosely identified as Atlas, they should be distinguished from the individual in classical mythology who was ordered to support the heavens on his shoulders.

references: Pratapaditya, Pal; Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Vol. l; Art from the Indian Subcontinent, 2003, pp.68–69, no. 35, where Pal illustrates and discusses a Gandharan Winged Figure with similar eyes. According to Pal, 2003, p.68, Alfred Foucher was the first to suggest that the muscular figures are yakshas in the guise of classical Atlantes, having borrowed the wings from Victory. (Alfred Foucher, L’art greco-bouddhique du Gandhara, 1905–1951, vol. 1, p. 208.)


An Oval Turned Amethyst Bowl

Fine colour, rich striations and markings and overall glossy patina through old polishing and use

Noticeable fissures within the deep structure of the crystals

English or German

Early 19th Century or earlier

size: 9 cm dia. – 3½ ins dia.

provenance: Purchased at Knight Frank and Rutley Auction Rooms, Bond Street, London, 1966, for £8

Ex Private collection since purchase

Amethyst occurs in primary hues

from a light lavender or pale violet to a deep purple. The Egyptians engraved intaglio gems. AngloSaxon graves have produced amethyst beads. The ancient Greek word amethystos translates as not drunken; amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, hence wine goblets were carved from it.


An Egyptian Porphyry Mortar

Previously ormolu mounted Porphyry Italy

17th Century

size: 13 cm high, 17 cm dia. –5¼ ins high, 6¾ ins dia.

provenance: Ex Private collection USA

Ex Private collection

William Young (auctioneer, dealer, collector) died 1930s

Miss Young (grand daughter)

Ex Finch and Co, 2009

Ex Private collection

see: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection 2010 exhibited: BRUNEAF, Bruxelles, La tête dans les étoiles. Appuis-Nuque d’Afrique de d’ailleurs 6–10 June 2012 cf: Pierre Loos., Bayet T. et Caltaux S., La tête dans les étoiles. AppuisNuque d’Afrique et d’ailleurs, BRUNEAF, 2012: pg. 159

A Very Fine and Rare Headrest

Kali or Kalimasi / Kali Toloni

Bamboo, wood, coconut sennet fibre The cross-bar (rest) engraved with triangular design reminiscent of Tapa Cloth

Two old paper labels, one stating African origin Superb colour and patina from age and use


18th – early 19th Century

size: 12.5 cm high, 44 cm long –5 ins high, 17¼ ins long

provenance: Tennant’s Auction Rooms, Yorkshire, July 2009, lot 314, entered privately from the grand daughter and descendant of an eccentric antiques dealer from Harrogate, who used to ride around the town in a trap pulled by a zebra to the amusement of the townsfolk.

Of all the known types of Tongan neck-rests known as kali, this type, kali toloni, which is known by the three piece construction and use of a pole (bamboo) as a pillow (crossbar), is the least common and most elegant. Used predominantly by Tongan chiefs (St. Cartmail, 1997), the present example is of a particularly enticing and elegant proportion, being long, wide and low in stance. 7

A Rare and Unusual

Fur Menpo Shokumo

Iron, fur (hare) material, whiskers, lacquer Japan

Mid Edo Period / 18th Century size: 25 cm high, 20 cm wide, 13 cm deep – 9¾ ins high, 8 ins wide, 5¼ ins deep

provenance: Giuseppe Piva, Milano, Italy

Ex Private collection

see: Armures Japonaises, dans la collection Arman; Robert Burawoy. Exh., Grand Palais, Paris, France, 14–19 Janvier 1992 for a similar Menpo, circa 1600

cf: An example in the Arman collection, and a Kabuto covered with similar fur are in the Osaka Castle Museum

The whole surface is covered with fur (hare). The covering of fur was to impress the enemy, although some protection from rain could be achieved. The use of hare fur is symbolic in Japan, being one of the signs of the Zodiac, and also a creature which embodies performance as well as the philosophy of Japan. The hare took on many stylistic representations among the Samurai warrior. 8

A Finely Carved Maori Nephrite

Mere Pounamu Patu

Nephrite, old paper label

Fine colour and patina through use

New Zealand

First half 19th Century

size: 28.5 cm long – 11¼ ins long

provenance: D. Barrett, London 2009

Ex Private collection

see: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection, 2010, pg. 348, ill. 492–493 and The Maori Collections of the British Museum

Dorota Czarkowska Starzecka, Roger Neich, Mick Prendergrast; plate 120–121 ill. 730–731 / 739–744 and 745–746

Of all the short weapons made of stone, wood or bone the mere pounamu, the jade thrusting and cleaving club, was held in the highest regard. It was the only Maori weapon made of jade and was unique to New Zealand.

Early 19th Century

size: 7 cm high, 48 cm wide (max) 30.5 cm deep – 2¾ ins high, 19 ins wide 12 ins deep (max)

provenance: Ex Finch and Co


Ex Private Belgian collection 2018

Ex Private collection

cf: A similar example was sold through Christie’s, London in 2001 as part of the Humprey Whitbread Collection

Additional idiophones came into use from the Renaissance on. The xylophone, long widespread throughout Asia and Africa, was illustrated in 1529 by the composer and music theorist Martin

Agricola. In 1618 Praetorius depicted an instrument with 15 bars from 15 to 53 cm (6 to 21 ins) in length, tuned diatonically. It remained little exploited until the Flemish carillonneurs combined it with a keyboard and transformed it into a practice instrument in the first half of the 17th century. The older form remained a folk instrument, chiefly in and east of Germany.


An Openwork Copper Alloy Garment Pin

Superb colour and patina


Eastern Iran or Central Asia

2000 bc

size: 35 cm wide – 13¾ ins wide

provenance: Ex John Kasmin

Private collection

Ex Oliver Hoare Ltd.

Ex Private collection

revelation from one individual to another. Not that one precludes the other, of course. The Louvre pin shows the couple beneath a curved lintel, while this example has an elaborate surround; a phallic symbol between recumbent lions below; a wriggling serpent rising on each side; and a balcony above the lintel.


A Hellenistic Gold Finger Ring with Carnelian Set Intaglio

The finely engraved intaglio portraying the Head of Socrates

High carat gold, carnelian

Bactrian / Central Asia

1st Century bc

size: 3 cm long, 2 cm wide, 2.5 cm high – 1¼ ins long, ¾ ins wide, 1 ins high

Approx ring size: O

provenance: Private UK collection, since 1970s

Ex Oliver Hoare Ltd.

Ex Private collection

Bactria was in central Asia in an area that comprises most of modern-day Afghanistan and parts of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. To the south and east, it was bordered by the Hindu Kush mountains. On its western side, the region was bordered by the Carmanian desert and to the north it was bound by the Oxus River. The land was noted for its fertility and its ability to produce most ancient Greek agricultural products, with the notable exception of olives.

A Rare and Unusual English

Regency Blue Glass Xylophone

Idiophone Contained in the Original Mahogany Carrying Box

Produced by John Betts of Royal Exchange London

Wood, glass, felt, brass

A similar pin in the Louvre was exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum’s Art of the First Cities exhibition in 2003 (no. 228). The catalogue entry records that while Pierre Amiet believes the couple are engaged in flirtatious banter, Victor Sarianidi thinks it represents the transmission of a


A Pierced Oak Panel Depicting St Christopher

Oak, Bohemia

Circa 1520

size: 43 cm high, 35 cm wide, 2.5 cm deep – 17 ins high, 13¾ ins wide, 1 ins deep

provenance: Ex: A & E Foster Ltd., Grosvenor House, London, 2007

Ex Private collection

Venerated as one of the fourteen Holy Helpers, Christopher is the patron saint of travellers, although there is no certainty he existed historically. However, many Christian denominations venerate him as the martyr killed in the reign of the Roman Emperor Decius (r. 249–251) or under Emperor Maximinius Daia (r. 308–313). The confusion arises from the similarity in the names Decius and Daia. By the 7th century ad , churches were being named in his honour.


A Rare Ichimonji Jingasa with Ando¯ Family Kamon in Shakudo

Iron, red lacquer


Edo Period / Hôreki Period (1751–1764)

size: 7.5 cm high, 45.5 cm dia. –3 ins high, 18 ins dia.

provenance: Ex Private Collection

The Ando¯ family was raised to the rank of Daimyo, a Japanese feudal lord, by Tokugawa Leyasu in 1612. They ruled most of Japan from their vast, hereditary land holdings but were subordinate to the Shogun and the Emperor. Daimoyo often hired Samurai for protection and to guard their land, usually paying in land or food.


A Finely Carved

Maori Whalebone

Club Kotiate Paraoa

Fine colour and patina, worn smooth in areas from use

Whalebone, shell

New Zealand Maori

Early 19th Century

size: 34 cm high – 13½ ins high

provenance: Purchased through Finch and Co, November


Ex Privately entered lot into auction, UK

Ex Private collection

The short hand clubs of the Maori known as patu poto were made in several shapes from wood, whalebone, stone and nephrite or greenstone. They were carried thrust into the girdle of a kilt or into a special war-belt. All patu were designed for speed in fighting where split-second action required thrusting jabs with little time for downward blows. Short clubs have a flat broad blade with a rounded end sharp enough to split the skull, or to cause deadly injuries to the neck or ribs by thrusting blows.


A Fine and Large Gallery Glass

Rosewood, glass England

Circa 1820–40

size: 53.5 cm long, 26 cm dia. –21 ins long, 10¼ ins dia.

provenance: Ex Private North Country collection

These magnificent magnifying glasses enabled collectors, dealers and connoisseurs to view pictures and sculpture in detail. Works of art could even be surveyed from a distance while being discussed at leisure from a comfortable vantage point.


A Very Rare Mat with Six Fishing Hooks

Dry original found condition

Coconut fibre, sennet, shell, mother-

of-pearl,very good condition

Caroline Islands or Nukuoro Islands   19th Century

size: 22 cm high, 13.5 cm wide –8½ ins high, 5¼ ins wide

provenance: Ex Private collection, Connecticut, USA  Ex Private collection

cf: For a very similar mat holding three hooks, see: plate LXL, Heape collection, pg. 40, Harry G. Beasley, Fish Hooks, Seeley, Service & Co. Ltd. 1928, (mis) described as Tahiti Islands. See also: number 61, pg. 171 for another similar mat, holding only two hooks, described as Nukouro Islands, Daniel Blau, Klaus Maaz, Fish Hooks of the Pacific Islands, Hirmer Publishers, Munich, Germany, 2012


A Superb Baule Mask

Fine overall patina

Wood. Ivory Coast

Late 19th Century

size: 40.5 cm high – 16 ins high

provenance: Ex Private American collection

Ex Sotheby’s Tribal Art, London, June 1984, lot 237

Ex Peter Adler, London

Ex Private collection, Palm Springs, USA

Powerful carved elongated face with a tender prominent open mouth revealing filed teeth. Raised scarification marks on each cheek, enhancing the sensitively carved long nose, downcast pierced eyes below arching eyebrows painted in black. All beneath an elaborate ridged coiffure divided into three large lobes painted in black. The whole mask has a very fine reddish patina.

Baule sculpture is one of West Africa’s most significant art traditions. To western eyes the essence of Baule style is a balanced asymmetry that excites while also

suggesting stability and calm. Known for their stylisation, detail and remarkably refined features, these finely carved masks are of a type that appears in village masquerades for recreational entertainment called Mblo. These dances and scripted performances are the cultural equivalent to western opera or film noir

Everyone can see them and enjoy the communal event. Between performances the masks were kept out of sight carefully wrapped in bark cloth and hung from the thatch of their dancers’ sleeping rooms.

Many of these masks were brought to Europe in the early 20th century where they were often bought and collected by artists upon whose work they had great influence. For example, Modigliani was directly influenced, and Picasso had a Baule / Yaure mask in his studio at Villa La Californie, now in the Musée Picasso in Paris.


A Huge and Exceptional Eskimo

Walrus Tusk Ice Cleaver

Walrus Tusk Odobenus Rosmarus

Superb golden colour and patina

Arctic / Bering Strait

18th Century or earlier

size: 62 cm long – 7.5 cm wide –24½ ins long, 3 ins wide

provenance: Ex Private French collection, Ex Finch and Co, Sept. 2015 Ex Private collection

Of immense size and weight this ice cleaver / ice knife / scraper probably served a number of tasks during the building of an igloo. The extra weight of this knife compared to normal snow knives suggests more of a chopping motion, rather than cutting, and a shaping tool rather than the knives used to dust off freshly fallen snow. It is possible, from the colour and

size of this very large example, that the blade or cleaver was fashioned from a very large excavated walrus tusk, rather than freshly acquired tooth.

19 A Box and Cover Containing Baltic Amber Gaming Counters

Amber, wood

Danzig Germany or Baltic Prussia Region

Early 19th Century or earlier

size: 2.5 cm high, 10 cm dia. –2¼ ins high, 4 ins dia.

provenance: Ex Colin Gross, London 1990s Ex Private collection

Amber is the petrified plant sap of prehistoric pine trees. These fossil resins were known in Germany as Bernstein or burning stones due to their flammability.


A Paris Embroidered Gaming Purse Red velvet, silver thread, calf skin

Superb overall mint condition


17th Century

size: 17 cm dia. – 6¾ ins dia. provenance: Ex Private Dutch collection

cf: A similar purse can be found in the Brooklyn Museum Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art

At the end of the 17th century Europe witnessed a new level of card game mania. Gambling with cards or gaming was a favoured pastime for both men and women of all ages and classes. The gaming bags reflected this fashion, with a specific type of bag in which to hold one’s coins or counters won in games like Put or La Bête

Like other fashionable accessories of the period, the bag served more than just a functional purpose. It conveyed a message about the owner’s nationalistic sympathies.

Of a cylindrical form, embroidered with fleur-de-lys to the base and the circumference. The striking impression of this rare survival is the outstanding condition of the velvet and silver thread. A purse which had little use, and spent the past 300 plus years hidden in a drawer and away from light.


A Malakula Elongated Head Tree fern, bone, pigment, polychrome New Hebrides, Vanuatu

Circa 1900

size: 18 cm high, 14 cm wide, 22 cm deep – 7 ins high, 5½ ins wide, 8¾ ins deep

provenance: Acquired in Australia at auction circa 1968–69 Nicolai Michoutouchkine collection, Nouméa

The N. Michoutouchkine-A. Pilioko Foundation, inventory no. 340

Ex: M. Doustar

Ex Private collection

exhibition history:

Ethnography and Art of Oceania, of Michoutouchkine-Pilioko Foundation, Moscow, Fukuoka, 1989, no. 342


Michoutouchkine-Ivanovna, Ethnography and Art of Oceania, Michoutouchkine-Pilioko Foundation, Ministry of Culture of the USSR, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Moscow, 1999, no. 3

note: Two similar over modelled skulls collected by Edgar Aubert de la Rue in the 1920s, now housed in the Quai Branly Museum

The Culture Hero Ambat is associated with the origin of head-binding in certain coastal areas of southern Malakula, Vanuatu. Ambat himself had an elongated head and a fine, long nose. Head elongation styles varied slightly among the many different language and cultural areas of southern Malakula. The area where people have the longest elongated heads is the Nahai-speaking area of Tomman Island and the south southwestern Malakulan mainland opposite. A person with a finely elongated head is thought to be more intelligent, of higher status and close to the world of the spirits. Even today, throughout Vanuatu, the Bislama / Pidgin English term Longfala Hed (Long Head) is synonymous with intelligence.

On Tomman Island and the facing south southwestern Malakula mainland, head-binding began about a month after birth. Each day the child’s head was smeared with burnt paste made from the Navanai-Molo nut (from the candle nut tree). This softens the skin and prevents binding rash. The head was then bound with Ne’Enbobosit, a soft bandage made from the inner bark of a banana tree. Over this was placed a No’onbat’ar (specially woven basket) made from Nibirip (pandanus) and bound around with the Ne’euwver (fibre rope). This process continued every day for about six months to produce the required shape.


An Unusual No¯ Mask

Wood, black lacquer, gilding

Signed: Uman and Kakihan


19th Century

size: 21 cm high, 16 cm wide –8¼ ins high, 6¼ ins wide

The beautifully executed wood mask is probably from the workshop of Deme Uman; although he is well known as a No¯ mask carver, his signature also appears on examples from the same workshop. One can only presume the master, Deme Uman, allowed production under his supervision and by apprentices whose work was considered of a high quality if not as good as the master, to carry his signature once the mask left the workshop.


A Rare and Important Late Roman Marble Column

With a fluted spiral central column shaft rising to a carved integral capital with Corinthian acanthus leaf decoration, the base with a relief carved Chariot and Charioteer

White marble

Eastern Roman Empire

Circa ad 300

size: 288 cm high –113½ ins high / 9 feet 44 ins high

provenance: Ex Private Diplomatic Residential London Property, since 1980s Ex Private UK collection

Corinthian describes an ornate column style developed in ancient Greece and classified as one of the classical orders of architecture. The name comes from a myth about a young Corinthian girl who died tragically, and an acanthus plant which sprouted from her grave, with the leaves of the capitals resembling those from the grave. The columns are usually tall and slender, with fluted shafts and include bases.

Favourite charioteers and horses were received by the public with loud applause, and in inscriptions the name of the victorious horse

is frequently mentioned together with that of the charioteer.

Cappadocia, Sicily, Spain and Africa were celebrated for their race horses whose pedigree, age and names were meticulously recorded.

At first charioteers were free citizens, but over time the occupation, although never considered dishonourable like that of the gladiator, came to be regarded as unworthy of a free Roman. It was therefore left to be taken up by mostly slaves and freedmen who were trained at special schools. These were comprised of a complete staff of chariot makers, tailors, shoemakers, surgeons and teachers, and were kept by one or several owners, domini factionum, who would let out both the chariots and the charioteers to the highest bidders of the parties in control of the circus. Victorious charioteers received silver crowns, valuable garments and money, and the most successful often made large fortunes and became domini factionum themselves.

The Medallic Illustrations of The Holy Scriptures by Sir Edward Thomason inspired by Carlo Maratta (1625–1713)

An exceptional collection of Sixty Medallions contained in their leather bound Book volumes

Each medal detailing scenes taken from Old Master paintings depicting scenes from the beginning of Genesis to the Ascension of Christ

Each medal virtually as struck in exceptional mint condition White metal, leather, gilt, velvet, silk, paper England Circa 1830


size: medals: 7.5 cm dia – 3 ins dia. / case: 35.5 cm high, 27 cm wide, 3 cm deep – 14 ins high, 10⅔ ins wide, 1¼ ins deep provenance: Lord de Saumarez, Scrubland Park, Suffolk (inside each volume is a crowned initial M for the original owner Sir William Fowle Middleton, 2nd Bt. of Cornfield and Shrubland)

Ex Private English collection note: Inside, each cover bears a circular card reading: Struck at the Works of G. R. Collins & Co. Successors to Sir E. Thomason, Church St. BirmM (Birmingham, England) with instructions on how to handle the medals: It is particularly requested that persons inspecting the Medals will not touch or rub the surface, a Ribbon being placed underneath to turn them over, the edges alone may be handled to take them from their Places. The fact that the medals have survived intact and are in outstanding original condition would indicate the rules of handling were followed to the letter. It is very rare to find a complete set, in their original volumes and intact.

Together with a list: Embodied from Pictures of the Following Masters: Vol 1 to Vol 5 (listing each artist and their place of birth)

This extraordinary set of struck medals known as the Thomason Medallic Bible of 1830 captures the essence of the entire Holy Bible in medallic art. The obverse designs were inspired by the works of Renaissance artists and executed by several different engravers. The reverse contains a dense text quotation or explanation describing the topic of each medal. Produced in Birmingham, England by Sir Edward Thomason, who felt divinely inspired to promote the glory of God by impressing the Word of God upon

gold, silver and other indestructible metals.


A Western Australian Aboriginal Shield Wood, pigment Australia

19th Century

size: 68.5 cm high – 27 ins high provenance: Ex Adam Prout, 2013

Ex Private collection

Australian aboriginal songs and patterns are handed down through generations. Their designs are traditional and the same song is always chanted for each one. Thus there is a strong link between a painted and etched design and the song that was chanted over it while it was being made. The design and the chant combined to give strength and power to the object. 26

A Western Australian Aboriginal Shield Wood, pigment Australia

19th Century size: 75 cm high – 29½ ins high provenance: Ex Adam Prout, 2013

Ex Private collection


A Fine Circular Porphyry Mortar

Superb colour and patina Porphyry Italy

17th Century

size: 17.5 cm high – 6¾ in high Porphyry comes from the Latin word for purple purpura and was used by the Romans to describe the hard volcanic rock peppered with white crystals of feldspar quarried in the Egyptian eastern

desert at Gebel Dokhan. By law only the Roman emperors could use the colour purple and the dye was worth more than gold. First extracted by the Phoenicians and called Tyrian, the dye came from crushed Murex Trunculus shellfish. Whole woollen fleeces would be dyed to the desired colour before being spun into the wool to weave the Imperial togas.


A Polynesian Spurred Gata Fighting Club of Gunstock Form with a Ripple Carved Shaft



18th – 19th Century size: 99.5 cm long – 39¼ ins long provenance: Finch and Co, early 2000s

Ex Private collection

Fijian clubs of this shape and type are often wrongly called gun stock clubs because of their resemblance to muskets, but all of the basic forms were in use before firearms were first introduced to Fiji in the early 19th century, examples having been taken back to Europe and others recorded by early explorers.


A Polynesian Spurred Gata or Sali Fighting Club of Gunstock Form Wood

Superb colour and patina


18th – 19th Century size: 97.5 cm long – 38¾ ins long provenance: Ex Private collection

These impressive war clubs are said to be named after the clawed sali flower of one of the wild bananalike plants which grow on the Pacific Islands of Fiji. They have longer, broader cheeks and a more highly developed crest or spur than

gata clubs although they were used in the same way, being designed to slice and cut through bone rather than smash and shatter it.


A Fine Long Spear Sankaku Yari

Excellent overall condition

Wood, steel, lacquer, skin, copper, fur

Edo period / 17th Century / (Enpo Era) 1673–1681

Tsuka (wooden shaft) surmounted by a fur Saya (probably 19th Century)


size: 246.5 cm long – 97 ins long / 2.46 metres long / 263 cm long –103½ ins long (with fur covered spear cover)

Yari is a term for a long spear with a traditionally made steel blade. The martial art, of handling and wielding a yari is referred to as So¯jutsu. The triangular spear head Sankaku Yari has a point terminating from a triangular cross-section. Used to penetrate metal armour, its effectiveness was without doubt.

Other examples are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the Nagashino Museum, Japan.

31 A Yumi Asymmetrical Bow

Bamboo, wood, lacquer


End of Edo / 19th Century

size: 215 cm long – 84½ ins long


A Yumi Asymmetrical Bow

Bamboo, wood, lacquer


End of Edo / 19th Century

size: 211 cm long – 83 ins long

The yumi (gohonhigo type) is the name given to the Samurai asymmetrical bows, an important weapon to the Samurai warrior and it is the most famous type of bow used in Japan.

A Rare Pair of Carved trompe-l’œil Hanging Fish

Attributed to the workshop of Grinling Gibbons (1648–1721) Wood, (later) paint English

Late 17th to early 18th Century size: 26 cm high, 23 cm wide, 8.5 cm deep and 25 cm high, 23 cm wide, 7.5 cm deep cf: A drawing by Samuel Watson, circa 1685–95, from a sketchbook housed at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, depicts a very close related grouping of hung fish, drawn from Gibbons’s St James’s altarpiece design for a proposal for a game overmantel.

Grinling Gibbons (1648–1721) was an outstanding wood carver who by 1680 had been presented to Charles II and made The King’s Carver. Although he also worked in marble, stone and bronze, Vertue says that he was neither well skilled or practised in marble or bronze for which work he employed the best artists he could procure. His wood carving was so fine that it was said a pot of carved flowers above his house in London would tremble from the motion of passing coaches. He was employed by Sir Christopher Wren to work on St Paul’s Cathedral and was responsible for the woodwork on the choir stalls, choir screen and organ case, as well as an altarpiece which was bomb damaged during the Blitz in the Second World War.

Dead game was a recurring theme of Gibbons’s work and output. The highly realistic trompe-l’œil (optical illusion) three dimensional carvings of hanging fowl, fish and other game were a trademark of his style, as can be

seen in the overmantel at Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, of 1678; the overmantel, Badminton House, Gloucestershire, of 1683; and more closely related the side drop from the original Badminton House overmantel, now hung separately depicting a grouping of trompel’œil fish. One should also compare closely the Kirtlington panel, circa 1690–1700, Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire.


Yoruba Maternity Group  Wood, polychrome, pigment, scorching. Old collection name to base: Sealy and 16.


Late 19th Century

size: 58 cm high – 22¾ ins high provenance: Ex Ernest Ohly collection

Ex Berkeley Gallery, London  Purchased from G Block, 1960’s

Ex London Art Market

Ex Private collection

The Yoruba live predominantly in southwestern Nigeria and have for centuries been the most prolific art-producing people of Black Africa. The culture of Yoruba, with its complex religious, political and social systems inherited from ancient city-states, evoked the creation of a rich variety of royal and religious sculpture. The Yoruba developed a unique style through which to interpret the rituals and precepts, passions and beliefs of their lives. However, it is the actual community and family in the here and now that form the pivot of Yoruba life. There exists no desire to work toward a better life in the hereafter. While they do hope to join their ancestors when they die, these ancestors are conceived as living a formless existence that is nevertheless

focused on the surviving family members in which they hope to be reborn. The ancestors do return to the community, but not through personal reincarnation. Their life force reverts to the community in the form of one or more children.


A Group of Three Early Silver Dutch Spoons

Silver, partial gilt

The Netherlands

16th Century

size: 12 cm long, 11.5 cm long and 12 cm long / 4¾ ins long, 4½ ins long and 4¾ ins long

provenance: Ex Private European collection

The three excavated silver spoons all date from an early period of the development of spoons, not only in Holland, but northern Europe also. Each shaft is decorated with engraved feathering. One terminal is dated 1587, another with a coat of arms displaying a rampant crowned bird of prey and a fleur de lys, the other with initials and a pommel? To the reverse of one bowl, further initials are surrounded by engraved rams and crowned bleeding hearts


An English Nottingham Alabaster of St Erasmus Alabaster, polychrome England

15th Century

size: 14 cm high, 12 cm wide, 5.5 cm deep – 5½ ins high, 4¾ ins wide, 2¼ ins deep provenance: Ex Private collection Jonathan Horne Thence by descent


A Fine Jingasa Helmet

Simulating Iron, in Mottled Dark Grey and Black Lacquer

With a Gold Mon and a Crest of the Tachibana Family with the form of a Citrus Tachinbana Flower Lacquer, metal, gilt, material


Circa 1750–1850

size: 13.5 cm high, 32.5 cm wide, 35.5 cm deep – 5¼ ins high, 12¾ ins wide, 14 ins deep

From the late 1300s until the Reformation alabaster carving was a major artistic activity and industry in the English Midlands in an area centred on Nottingham. Small in scale, altarpieces and panels were produced for the home market as well as for export. At the time of the Reformation many of the carvings were destroyed or hidden, but the survival of fragments and those in the churches and cathedrals of France are proof of their popularity in medieval Europe. Today there are more English medieval alabaster carvings in Normandy than anywhere else. St Erasmus, also known as St Elmo (died circa 303) was a Christian saint and martyr venerated as the patron saint of Sailors. He was also one of the fourteen Holy Helpers. Bishop of Formia, Italy, during the persecution of Christians under the emperors Diocletian (284–305) and Maximian Hercules (286–305), he and went into hiding on Mount Libanus for seven years. However, after an angel appeared before him, counselling him, he returned to his city.


A Fine and Early Long Rootstock Club with Inlaid Teeth

Excellent Colour and Patina Wood, teeth


Late 18th / Early 19th Century

size: 111.5 cm long – 43¾ ins long provenance: Ex Private Scottish collection Ex Private collection

At the beginning of the 19th century in Fiji few people lived to die of old age; men did not dare to move about the islands unarmed. William Mariner wrote of Fiji in the early 1800s: a man seldom goes out, even perhaps with his greatest friend, without being armed, and cautiously upon his guard. (Mariner 1827: 208). Heavy clubs, spears and other weapons accompanied the wary Fijian on even short walks beyond his village.


A Very Rare and Unique Écorché Figure

After a model by Michael Henry Spang (died 1762). The reduced version of a life-size figure in plaster of William Hunter, used for teaching at the St Martin’s Lane Academy in London circa 1753

Bronze English

Second half 18th Century size: 24 cm high – 9½ ins high provenance: Ex Private Belgian collection note: For an example sold by Finch and Co, Ex collection the Earls of Warwick, Warwick Castle, listed in 1900 (Heirlooms) in the Armoury Passage as Antique Bronze of Skeleton, sold Sotheby’s, Syon Park, May 1997; Lot 9, Ex

English Private collection, see: Finch and Co, catalogue no. 24, item no. 29, 2015

cf: other examples in V&A Museum, London; Bode Museum, Berlin; Louvre, Paris; Metropolitan Museum, New York

These écorché figures were once attributed to Italian Renaissance artists. Wilhelm Bode classified one in the hall of bronzes in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, now the Bode Museum, as Venetian 16th century. However, Dr William Hunter, a physician and teacher at the St Martin’s Lane Academy of Art in about 1750, had dissected and flayed the corpse of a condemned criminal and then meticulously made a life-size plaster model of it. He used this for teaching life drawing and the model was moved with the art school to the new Royal Academy in 1767. John Zoffany then portrayed Hunter with the life-size écorché figure in two paintings. It is thought that the Danish artist Michael Henry Spang studied anatomy with Hunter in St Martin’s Lane and made a wax reduction of the plaster figure which Spang exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1761. Soon after this he died and Hunter acquired the wax. Edward Burch was then employed by Hunter to cast a version in bronze after the wax in order to provide artists with a portable version of his lifesize anatomical figure.

Other 18th century artists also probably made bronze casts as M Baker records Albert Pars being awarded a premium for a cast of an Anatomy figure, after Spang in 1767 by the Society of Artists.

Since the Renaissance flayed anatomical male figures have held a fascination for artists, and écorché figures remain a popular study for students of art and life drawing.

It should be noted, no other example can be found displaying the male genitalia. It has been suggested this rare bronze could perhaps be a private commission.

Pair of Chinese Bamboo Vertical Flutes Xiao each Inscribed in Their Original Box Inscribed Made by Zhang Lunshan of Yuping Guizhou A Scholar’s Object

Early Republic / Circa 1912–1920

size: 62 cm long – 24½ ins long (each)

case: 4 cm x 4.5 cm x 65 cm long –1½ ins x 1¾ ins x 25½ ins long provenance: Ex Private Hong Kong collection

Ex Hugh Moss 1994

Ex Finch and Co, catalogue item no. 17, catalogue no. 30, 2018

Ex Oliver Hoare Ltd.

Ex Private collection

The Chinese province of Guizhou is famous for its excellent bamboo flutes which are a symbol of the Chinese scholar. Its sound was sacred and was traditionally said to be carried by one of the eight immortals called Han Xiangzi. Each flute is inscribed with a poem extolling the inspiring sound that it produces and of the beauty of the Jade Lady who plays it:

Under the bright moonlight to which family does this Jade Lady belong ? playing a song under a quarter moon the lofty thoughts of a scholar may match those of Sima Qian the ancient flying tunes of a thousand years past come alive in this Zhaoji studio

Sima Qian was an ancient historian of the early Han dynasty (died 86

Late 18th to Early 19th Century

size: 48 cm long – 19 ins long

provenance: Ex Private Belgian collection, purchased through Alex Arthur Ex Private collection

see: The Maori Collections of the British Museum Dorota Czarkowska Starzecka, Roger Neich, Mick Prendergrast; plate 119 ill. 712, 714, 716, 722, and 724

Made from the spatulate section of a whale’s jaw, the blade is known as the rau, which gave rise to the Maori term for conquest raupatu, presumably as so many successful battles were fought with this type of blade. Used as a striking weapon, the distal end of the club was thrust straight from the shoulder delivering a blow to the enemy’s temple, or if their hair could be grasped, the patu could be driven up under the jaw or ribs.


A Rare Islamic Porphyry Mortar

With stylised lobes and pouring spout Old fissures and break Porphyry, iron ring to base


13th / 14th Century

size: 18 cm high, 32.5 cm dia. (max) – 7 ins high, 12½ ins dia.

provenance: Purchased Italy


Ex Private collection

Creamy deep colour and patina through use, with mottled staining Whalebone

New Zealand Maori

Virtually every piece of porphyry was quarried by convicts and slaves from the Egyptian eastern desert at Gebel Dokhan. The quarries were opened in the early 1st century ad and worked until the 5th century ad . They were most actively worked under the Roman Emperors Nero, Trajan and Hadrian. The Emperors reserved the colour purple for their own use and so porphyry and the Egyptian


quarries became their exclusive Roman Imperial property. This Islamic carved mortar was probably carved in Egypt from an earlier mined or worked block.


A Rare Bronze Goblet Illustrating the Story of Prince Kunala


Arachosie / Eastern Persia / modern day Afghanistan / Pakistan border

Late 2nd – Early 1st Century bc

size: 4.5 cm high, 7 cm dia. –1¾ ins high, 2¾ ins dia.

provenance: Art Market

Sharjah, circa 1995

Ex John Kasmin Private collection

Ex Oliver Hoare Ltd.

Ex Private collection

published: Jean-François

Jarrige; Un Goblet Histoire de l’Ancienne Arachosie, Anamorphoses, Hommage à Jacques Dumarçay, Les Indes

Savantes, 2006; Exhibition

catalogue: Every Object Tells a Story, first published in 2017, and The Silk Road catalogue, London 2018.

In a remarkable article, Jarrige has deciphered the meaning of the many figures around the circumferences of two goblets displaying the story of Prince Kunala and Queen Tisyaraksita, analysing these illustrations down to the smallest detail. The story was transmitted in the Ashokavadana, the text that did so much to burnish the image and legend of Ashoka. Anyone wanting a real understanding of this goblet, one of the finest to have survived, should consult the article. Queen Tisyaraksita was perturbed by the number

of presents that her husband Ashoka was sending to the Bodhi Tree after his conversion to Buddhism, the Tree beneath which the Buddha received his Enlightenment, and imagined that there was a woman involved. She instructed a local witch to discover and destroy the object of her husband’s devotion: the Tree died, but such was Ashoka’s despair that she realised her error, and the Tree was revived by reverse witchcraft. Ashoka had a son, Kunala, who, having grown up, married Kanacanamala. He had the most beautiful eyes, and Tisyaraksita tried to seduce him. Rejected, she had him blinded, so he became a wandering minstrel, accompanied by his faithful wife.

Ashoka had her executed once he learned the truth, against the wishes of Kunala, who maintained that he was repaying the karmic debt of blinding 500 deer in a previous existence. The Satrapy of Arachosie was founded by Alexander the Great, where Kandahar now exists. It retained its Hellenistic culture under the Mauryan dynasty, through the satraps who ruled it, under whom all the diverse elements of different cultures came together, and were expressed. The legend of Ashoka and the story of Kunala were popular throughout the Buddhist world, from India to Japan. It is recorded that a Chinese pilgrim, Xuanzang, visited Taxila in the 7th century, where he saw the stupa built by Ashoka at the place where his son lost his eyes.


Twelve Eskimo Amuletic Hunting

Toggles / Pendants

Creamy smooth patina

Walrus ivory

Inuit / Bering Sea

18th Century or earlier

size: max: 6 cm long

– 2¼ ins long / min: 2 cm long – ¾ ins long

provenance: Ex

Summerfield collection

Sold Bruton Knowles Auction Rooms, circa autumn 1989

Ex Private collection

Ivory amulets were made by shamans and individual hunters for supernatural aid and protection. They were passed down through families as treasured heirlooms and were used to influence a tutelary or helping spirit. These small sculptures were so important to the beliefs of the community that nothing could be accomplished without their help.


A Rare Inuit

Shaman’s Pouch

Comprising: divine magical objects, gaming pieces, human teeth, amulets, needles, wedges, shell

Skin, sinew, walrus, teeth, bone Inuit / Bering Strait

19th Century or earlier

size: 7 cm high, 13 cm wide, 8.5 cm deep – 2¾ ins high, 5 ins wide, 3¼ ins deep

provenance: Ex Private English collection

Ex UK Art Market

Ex Private collection

Shamanism goes back to the Ice Age spreading with migrating ancient settlers around the remote lands of the North Pacific. The Shaman’s main practice was to communicate with the spirits, supplicating them for success in hunting, for help in healing, and in divination, thus ensuring survival for the peoples living in a harsh environment. In their original beliefs, before the early 20th century, the Eskimo had no conception of a single supreme

being. Their spirit world was made up of shades or Tunghât which exist independently of any central authority and can be seen by the shaman. The people have great faith in the power and wisdom of the shaman to whom all questions of religion and the mysteries of the invisible world are referred. The shaman can see the shades of both dead people and animals, as well as the Tunghât of inanimate objects such as trees and rivers, all of which are invisible to all others. Shaman are believed to make journeys to the land of the dead and these spirits will come at his call to do tasks of his bidding, and sometimes even the shade of a dead shaman will come to help.


A Finely Carved Goblet and Support Raised Upon a Turned Pear-Wood Base

Workshop of Georg Pfründt (1603–1663) Narwhal, wood


17th Century

size: 16.5 cm high – 6½ ins high

provenance: London Art Market 1960’s

Ex Private collection

Georg Pfründt (1603–1663), born in Franconia, trained under one of the greatest ivory carvers of the Renaissance, Leonard Kern (1588–1662). Moving to Strasbourg in 1639, Pfründt worked in the service of Charles Ludwig, Elector Palatine, and Duke Eberhard VIII of Würtemberg. The goblet is carved in the same style as the equally celebrated Nef favoured by princely courts for their kunstkammer (the 17th century art chamber) developed out of a medieval treasury which in turn became the Renaissance studiolo The use of narwhal in this rare cup adds to the sense of rarity and exotica


A Large Bridge Finial Bronze Japan

Meiji Period (1868–1912)

19th Century / or earlier size: 64 cm high –27.5 cm

dia. – 25 ins high, 10¾ ins dia.

provenance: Hasebe San, Tokyo, Japan

Ex Private European collection

Similar bronze finials can be seen on bridges in numerous palaces and river crossings throughout Japan. The structure of the bridges is formed from stone or wood, or a combination of both, with bronze elements as finials.


Two Wood and Shark Tooth Daggers

Wood, fibre, shark tooth

Gilbert Islands, Micronesia

Early 19th Century

size: 50.5 cm long – 19¾ ins long and 52 cm long – 20½ ins long

provenance: Ex Private UK collection

Ex Private collection

The Gilbert Islands lie in the western Pacific and are geographically part of Micronesia. The Islands have been under continuous British rule since the 18th century.


A Fine Flemish Figure of a Man Attributed to Henrick Douverman (c. 1480–1543) (sometimes known as Heinrich Douwermann) Wood (oak)


Early 16th Century size: 28 cm high – 11 ins high

provenance: Ex Private collection

Henrick Douverman worked in Kalkar, in the Lower Rhine region, near the present day Dutch border. A Netherlandish wood carver, he belonged to a circle of sculptors which included Heinrich van Holt and Arnt van Tricht, active in the first half of the 16th century. His preferred choice of wood was oak, rather than the softer and kinder lime-wood.

Before European interference and the onslaught of introduced diseases Micronesia was heavily populated and fighting was common. On the Gilbert Islands combat was so frequent, elaborate ffensive and defensive equipment was extensively manufactured. To counteract the lacerating ffect of these weapons, thick plaited coir armour was developed in the Gilberts composed of a rigid cuirass with high collar and separate trouser and sleeve sections. A spiky fish skin helmet completed the outfit.


A Samurai Archer’s Glove (Mitsugake) 三つ弽

Deer leather, material, ink

Edo Period / 1603–1868


size: 25 cm long – 9¾ ins long provenance: Ex Private collection

note: For a Japanese table scroll, detailing a very similar glove, lying next to a bow see: (photograph) by Yoshizo Shibahara, from a private collection.

A rare survival, we are fortunate to have an ink inscription inside the

glove allowing us to date the glove to: 1683 寿永二年, together with the workshop where it was made: 〇武具店, O-armor. Kyu¯do¯ or Kyu¯jutsu (the name used prior to 1919) was the martial art of archery within the Samurai class of feudal Japan. The first asymmetrical longbow recorded in Japan dates to the Yayoi period (circa 500 bc to ad 300).


A Pair of Unusual Mughal Archer’s Thumb Rings

Steel, brass (gold ?) India

Late 18th / Early 19th Century

size: 3.5 cm high – 1⅓ ins high

provenance: Ex John Harwood, India, 2005

Ex Private collection

The advantage of the eastern archer’s thumb ring over that of the European practice of using the leather covered tips of three fingers is that it improves the handling of the bow and arrow, and increases the range and steadies the flight of the arrow, very similar to the actions achieved by using a spear thrower. The closer the feathers are to the nock of the arrow the greater the distance the arrow will travel, and the steadier its path.


The Horrid Popish Plot Playing Cards

Paper, print England

17th Century

size: 9 cm high, 5.5 cm wide –3½ ins high, 2¼ ins wide

provenance: Ex Private English collection

Ex Private collection

literature: J. R. S. Whiting: A Handful of History, Alan Sutton, 1978

During the fourth quarter of the

17th century and the first two of the 18th century a significant number of political and educational packs of cards were produced in various European countries. In England there were produced about a dozen packs depicting current and occasionally historic political events, mostly demonising the Catholics. All are rare, the more so if complete and in fine condition like this example.  This pack, The Horrid Popish Plot, is known in several versions extending into the 18th century, the first designed by Francis Barlow and advertised by Robert Walton in 1679. The theme is of uncorroborated and fictitious accusations by the discredited Titus Oates (1649–1705) and others against plotters attempting to murder Charles II in order to bring his Catholic brother James to the throne.


A Superb Pair of Neapolitan Carved Figures of Dwarves

Attributed to Francesco Celebrano (1729–1814) Marble

Naples, Italy

18th Century

size: 36 cm high – 14¼ ins high

provenance: Ex Private collection

Francesco Celebrano was an Italian artist, sculptor and painter. He was well known for producing Neapolitan presepio creche figures. A of his presepio figures are housed in museums, including Naples, Bavarian National Museum in Munich, and the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Celebrano trained as a painter and from the 1760s worked as a sculptor, painter and designer in Naples. He painted a number of altarpieces, was commissioned for the sculpture of the Chapel of San Severo in Sta Maria della Pietà and designed the maritime chariot for del d’Ofri, which brought him to the attention of Ferdinand IV (1751–1825). He was appointed director of the Royal Porcelain Factory of Naples at Capodimonte in 1770 and remained as its head until 1781. During this time, many models of figures were created at the factory, which may have reflected Celebrano’s interest in and modelling of figures for the Neapolitan presepio figures.

54 A Namban Leather Wallet

The whole surface embossed with scenes from daily life

Leather, metal Nagasaki, Japan

Circa 1870s

size: 10.5 cm high, 18 cm wide –4¼ ins high, 6¼ ins wide

Namban wallets are not unusual of course, but to find an example such as this one with embossed surfaces definitely is. It may be a wallet commemorating the first train and railway in Japan, in 1872, between Shimbashi (Tokyo) and Sakuragicho¯. The symbols include: Dutch Trader Boots, a Book, a Japanese Compass, Ships, a Hand (or Glove), a Winged Cherub, a Rickshaw, a Globe, a Sabre and Musket, Flags, Trumpets, a Horse, a Bowler Hat, Rifles, Swords, an Umbrella. The main symbol is the locomotive emerging from a tunnel, depicted across the top of the wallet, underneath the inner flap.


A Quiver Shiko Ebira Type and Four Combat Arrows Ya Very fine overall condition

Leather, metal, lacquer, bamboo, steel Japan

Edo Period / according to the Kanji

松波元平 (Motohira June 1861)

size: Quiver: 64.5 cm long –25½ ins long / Arrows: 87 cm long (min) – 34¼ ins long (min) / cm long (max) – 35¾ ins long (max)

provenance: Galerie de Nara, Cap d’Antibes, France

Ex Private collection

56 A Rare Yaka / Zombo Figurative



Southwest Congo / Angola

19th / Early 20th Century

size: 15 cm high, 12.5 cm wide, 10 cm deep – 6 ins high, 5 ins wide, 4 ins deep

provenance: Ex Robert Vervoordt, Brussels, 2011

Ex Private collection

exhibited: La tête dans les étoiles

BRUNEAF exhibition catalogue, 2012, loan

literature: Pierre Loos, Thomas Bayet et Sophie Caltaux, La tête dans les étoiles. Appuis-nuque d’Afrique et d’ailleurs, BRUNEAF, 2012: pg. 67

Yaka headrests were both functional and spiritual objects, primarily used by chiefs and dignitaries to preserve their intricate hairstyles during sleep.

Both mbwoolo sculptures and a type of carved slit drum known as a mukoku are used by ritual practitioners. Mukoku help in the divination process, and mbwoolo are used to embody protective medicines. The Yaka also carve

numerous masks and head-gear for use in initiation as worn by the traditional leaders. The Yaka, along with the Suku, were part of an invasion against the Kongo Kingdom that came from the Lunda Plateau in the 16th century. Prior to that, the Yaka culture was enveloped in Kongo language and agriculture. Lunda expansion and creation of the Inbangala (Mbangala) Kingdom in 1620 greatly affected the occupants of the Kwango River area, which included the Yaka and the Suku. In an effort to expand to the northwest and east, Yaka chiefs weakened their kingdom’s strength and were forced to become subservient to the Lunda. The Lunda-Chokwe empire collapsed in the 19th century, allowing the Yaka to regain some independence.


A Rare Gold Insigne Badge or Button

Depicting an angel holding aloft a prayer or chant Gold

Netherlands / Low Countries

15th Century

size: 2 cm high, 2 cm wide –¾ ins high, ¾ ins wide provenance: Ex Private European collection


A Carved Boxwood Sphere

The circumference carved in low relief with the provinces of the Netherlands to one side and the National Arms to the opposite side


The Netherlands

Late 17th or Early 18th Century size: 8 cm dia. – 3³⁄₈ ins dia.

provenance: London Art Market early 1970s

Ex Private collection

Unusual and possibly unique, the sphere is finely carved in low relief displaying various coats of arms. It has been suggested that the sphere may have been a template for an elaborate silversmith’s construction of a kunstkammer centrepiece, the ball acting as a support. Or maybe simply a carved apprentice piece displaying their own abilities at carving boxwood, a preferred choice of material in the 17th and 18th century Dutch carving tradition.


A Fine Maori Whalebone

Kotiate Paraoa

Superb colour and patina through use

Whalebone, shell

New Zealand Maori

Early 19th Century size: 39.5 cm long –15½ ins long

provenance: Lyon and Turnbull, Edinburgh, 30 June 2010 (entered from a private collection in Glasgow)

Ex Private collection

A considerable amount of the Maori warrior’s time was spent grooming for the frequent intertribal battles that took place. Their chosen weapons required a very high degree of physical fitness and were only effective if used with considerable dexterity. War was regarded as a contest of skill rather than a bloody fight to the death. The preparations for war were ritualised and lasted far longer than the battles themselves. Invocations to the Gods, strict observance of all measures needed to appropriate all the evil influences, the composing of insulting Ngeri to be chanted in the face of the enemy, could occupy a whole community for weeks.


A Set of Four Tuscan Carved

Wood and Parcel Gilt Equestrian Reliefs

Walnut, gilt Italy

Circa 1580

size: two reliefs: 25 cm high, 48 cm wide – 9¾ ins high, 19 ins wide / two reliefs: 25 cm high, 50.5 cm wide – 9¾ ins high, 19¾ ins wide

provenance: Ex A&E Foster Limited, Grosvenor House

Antiques Fair, London, June 2004

Ex Private collection

Four finely carved panels, from an Italian late Renaissance building. Originating in Italy and superseding the Gothic style, the Renaissance encompassed all aspects of design, architecture, painting and sculpture incorporating elements of ancient Greek and Roman art. The carved equestrian panels are reminiscent of ancient Roman sarcophagus military reliefs in technique and style. The sculptor undoubtedly was exposed to the many ancient reliefs being found throughout the Renaissance period in Italy.

provenance: Purchased at auction, England, 2016 from a private collection

Ex Private collection

A distinctive feature of these headrests are the vertical lugs extending from both sides of the cross-bar. The lobed base supports a carved central support from which rise three upright beams. A personal embellishment in the form of a long strand of European black and white glass beads. Headrests from this area have a great inventiveness in the form and variation of design of the central support. While they were not made to be radically different from one another, the subtle variations distinguish each remarkable piece.


A Finely Carved


Superb dark colour and patination through use Wood


19th Century

size: 18.5 cm high, 15.5 cm wide –7¼ ins high, 6 ins wide

provenance: Susan MontielColmenares, London, circa 1970 Ex Private collection

exhibited: BRUNEAF, Bruxelles, Belgium La tête dans les étoiles Appuis-nuque d’Afrique et d’ailleurs, 6–10 June 2012

enhancing the men’s vigilance in the night. The women’s type have a more stable base.


A Very Fine Gold Mounted Lapis

Lazuli Casket Inset with Rubies

The rectangular casket raised upon four ball feet. A screw fixed sunburst flower knop to the front panel. Three ruby set flowers with engraved and chased decoration to the lid

Lapis lazuli, gold, rubies

German or French

Late 18th Century / Early 19th


size: 3.5 cm high, 5 cm wide, 4 cm deep – 1¾ ins high, 2 ins wide, 1½ ins deep

provenance: Alfred de Rothschild (1842–1918), the Red Room, Halton House, Buckinghamshire, England

Lionel de Rothschild (1882–1942)

Edmund de Rothschild (1916–2009)

The Trustees of Exbury House

A Shona Headrest with Attached

Glass Bead Strand

Fine colour and patina through extended use to the upper part of the elegant support, dry aged patina to the lower oval base

Wood, black and white glass beads

Shona / South Africa

19th Century

size: 15 cm high, 14 cm wide –6 ins high, 5½ ins wide

cf: Pierre Loos, Thomas Bayet et Sophie Caltaux, La tête dans les étoiles. Appuis-Nuque d’Afrique et d’ailleurs, BRUNEAF, 2012: pg. 101

These headrests are used by nomadic Somali men and women in southern Somalia and northeastern Kenya. The male type, as in this fine old example, have a relatively small base and are therefore unstable, making deep undisturbed sleep diYcult, and

note: This exquisite casket can be seen on Alfred’s desk in the Red Room at Halton House, where he conducted his private business affairs while in residence. The Red Room, Alfred’s favoured colour, was reserved for some of his finest pieces from his collection, including furniture by Martin Carlin, Sèvres porcelain and a portrait of Lady Hamilton by George Romney.


A Maori Stone Club Patu Onewa

Smooth surface with patina, old minor damages from use


Maori, New Zealand

19th Century

size: 39.5 cm long –15½ ins long

provenance: Ex D. Barrett, 2012

Ex Private collection

see: The Mark and Caroline Blackburn Collection 2010; pg. 348, ill. 488–491 and The Maori Collections of the British Museum Dorota Czarkowska Starzecka, Roger Neich, Mick Prendergrast; plate, 123 ill. 754, 757 and 758

cf: A similar club in British Museum, Cook collection NZ80. Kaeppler 1978:191

Greywacke is a form of indurated sandstone and was used to make these hand clubs by careful grinding, abrading and polishing. The thrusting distal end was given a sharp edge, while the hole for the dog skin wrist cord presented a particular challenge as can be seen from the biconically stone drilled hole.


A Small Bronze of a Prancing Stag

Bronze, gilt bronze

South Germany; Nuremberg or Augsburg

Late 17th Century / Circa 1620

size: 12 cm high – 4¾ ins high

provenance: Ex Private London collection, 1960s

Ex Private collection through descent

literature: K. Pechstein, Nürnberger Brunnenfiguren der Renaissance, Hambourg and Berlin, 1969, p. 27

This gilt bronze group, made in southern Germany, bears great similarities with the gilded silver table ornaments and mechanical automaton groups favoured by the princely courts of Germany, Austria and Northern Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.


A Fine Jingasa Helmet

Showing the Hosokawa Family

Crest (a clan from the Edo Period, the largest land owning family in Japan) Black lacquer with two gold circles


Circa 1750–1850

size: 9.5 cm high, 41.5 cm dia. –3¾ ins high, 16¼ ins dia.


A Rare Spirit Mask

Barak or Yamburai Parak

Wood, remains of polychrome

Eastern Sepik Province, New Guinea

Late 19th –early 20th Century

size: 45 cm high, 35 deep – 17¾ ins high, 13¾ ins deep

provenance: UK Art Market

Ex Private collection

see: New Guinea Art, Masterpieces from the Jolika collection of Marcia and John Friede, Fine Arts Museum San Francisco, vol. 2, pg. 89. ill. 39

Originally these masks were brightly coloured. However, after many years of exposure within the ceremonial houses the colour faded away through use and weathering. The mask was traditionally worn by a dancer whose plant fibre costume completely covered him, and was associated with an important male mythical being. The Barak (sometimes spelled barag or brag) were situated to the west of the Sepik River.

The Sepik River was first explored in 1885 by Otto Fisch. He wrote of the region’s cultural diversity and beauty of the villages that he saw on the banks of the river over which towered the men’s houses

and Pestle

The finely coloured specimen with turned concentric ribbed rings



17th Century size: 15 cm high, 21.5 cm dia.

– 6 ins high, 8½ ins dia. / pestle

16 cm long – 6¼ ins long

provenance: Purchased Swiss auction circa 1991

Ex Private collection

see: Porphyry, Red Imperial Porphyry, Power and Religion, Dario del Bufalo, 2013; and George Ortiz, Sotheby’s, 1994, lot 241


A Rare and Exceptional Carved Headrest Kali Hahapo

Excellent colour and patina Wood, sennet (coconut fibre), glass beads


Late 18th / Early 19th Century

size: 19 cm high, 53 cm long –7½ ins high, 20¾ ins long

provenance: Ex Captain

A.W.F. Fuller (1882–1961) given to Dr Roland Force, in recognition of Force’s work in cataloguing the Fuller collection (see: below)

Ex Julian Harding collection

Ex Wayne Heathcote

Ex Patricia Withers collection (1934–1998) London

Ex Sotheby’s London 1988

Ex Nasser Gallery 2010

Ex Private collection

see: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection 2010, pg. 246, ill. 146

The Fuller Collection of Pacific Artefacts, Lund Humphries, London 1971

A comparable example in the Tongan National Museum, Tofoa. Also several neck-rests part of the collections in the National Museum of Australia, Canberra (inv. Oz 347 and inv. Oz 348)

cf: Pierre Loos, Thomas Bayet et Sophie Caltaux, La tête dans les étoiles. Appuis-Nuque d’Afrique et d’ailleurs, BRUNEAF, 2012: pg.


exhibited: BRUNEAF, Bruxelles, Belgium La tête dans les étoiles Appuis-nuque d’Afrique et d’ailleurs, 6–10 June 2012

Of elegant arching form and carved in one piece from a dense, fine grained wood, possibly Intsia bijuga. Neck-rests of this type were used in Tonga as pillows to ensure that the elaborate coiffure of the owner would not be disturbed during sleep. Kali acquired mana (the spiritual force) by repeated contact with the owner’s head and in the case of a chief became objects of great prestige. This example, from the renowned Captain Fuller collection, is exceptional for the elegance and purity of its form, especially evident in the strongly curved legs ending in subtle horizontal flange feet. To each end of the cross-bar glass beads have been inserted to enhance the decorative appeal and importance of this piece.

For a comparable neck-rest see no. 689 in the James Hooper collection. Of classic Tongan form, it was, however, collected at Mbau, Fiji, in 1865. Compare also two kali previously in the Fuller collection (nos. 274498 and 274499) and now in the Field Museum, Chicago.

Fine colour and patina



Late 17th Century or early 18th Century

size: 25.5 cm high, 19 cm dia. –10 ins high, 7½ ins dia.

provenance: Ex Geoffrey Van collection

Thence by descent

Ex Private collection

Possibly a newel post or an architectural finial. There is no doubting the significance placed upon this beautiful carving of two doves, intertwined, embraced, dancing a playful dance, their beaks engaged in a kiss. The country house for which this carving was destined must have been a house full of love and friendship, for their token of love, commissioned in such a loving and tender sculpture, speaks volumes of the owner and sculptor of this very unusual symbol of English secular art.

Carved birds were a staple of Gibbons’s work. The famous Cosimo Panel, commissioned by Charles II and sent as a gift to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III de’Medici (1642–1723), at the time was Grinling Gibbons’s highest payment for a woodcarving, receiving £150 in 1682. The upper element of the panel depicts two billing Turtle Doves entwined, resting upon carved lace. The birds were thought to mate for life, symbols of lasting amity and affection.

by mud. There followed skilful restoration, only to be singed by a fireball from a gas explosion in the Palazzo Pitti in 1984.


An Elegant Maori Patu Paraoa

Superb colour and patina


New Zealand Maori

Early 19th Century

size: 44 cm long – 17¼ ins long provenance: Karim

Grusenmeyer, Asian Works of Art, Belgium 2008

Ex Private collection

see: The Maori Collections of the British Museum Dorota

Czarkowska Starzecka, Roger Neich, Mick Prendergrast; plate 119 ill. 712, 714, 716, 722, and 724

These heirlooms were Taonga Tuku Iho – treasures passed down from the ancestors.


A Rare and Important African Initiation Axe / Club

Rhinoceros horn, iron

Probably Lozi / South Africa

19th Century

size: 65.5 cm long – 25¾ ins long provenance:


Ex Private collection

cf: For a Rhinoceros Horn Ceremonial Prestige Axe, see Finch & Co, catalogue no. 7, item no. 94

A Pair of Loving Doves Attributed to the Workshop of Grinling Gibbons (1648–1721)

Old damages, fissures

Considered by many as Gibbons’s masterpiece, for 300 years the Cosimo Panel remained in Florence with little more than exposure to the air. However, in the flood of 1966, it was washed over by water, and partly buried

Axes such as this fashioned from blond horn were not commonly used as weapons. They were insignia of military rank and as such were carried resting on the shoulder into the battlefield by chiefs and commanders.

Axes and knives were preserved as heirlooms among the peoples of Southern Africa and transmitted through generations as important indicators of status. They also


preserved and carried an aura of ancestral symbolism. The owner of this rare axe would have been a high ranking chief, and possibly ownership came through his prowess as a hunter. The more typical axes would have been fashioned in wood.

The interior with gilt embossed leather panel revealing a document compartment to the lid. Eight embossed leather lidded boxes to the upper level each with brass ring handles. The double doors reveal paper lined drawers, which in turn conceal hidden compartments.


An Unusual Kanak Hardwood War Club

Fine dark glossy patina from use, a lighter band where a now lost binding would have acted also as a wrist thong Wood

New Caledonian, Kanak

Early 19th Century


A Travelling Priest’s Strongbox

Iron, wood, paper, leather, gilt polychrome, brass


Late 16th Century / early 17th


size: 41 cm high, 57 cm wide, 42 cm deep – 16 ins high, 22½ ins wide, 16½ ins deep

provenance: Ex Private English collection

Strongboxes were used for centuries, with some examples found in ancient Egyptian tombs. The use of locking mechanisms and hidden compartments were essential, while travelling, to keep valuables and important documents safe and far from reach. However, the travelling priest often had more reason to keep his items from prying eyes, for reasons of not just security, but personal welfare and safety, if exposed to lands and strangers who were not of the same religion.

The metal bound strongbox, covered with ‘strap-work’ and studded decoration. The lock plate with latticework crown. Two further locks below, with carrying handles to either side.

size: 75 cm long – 29½ ins long

provenance: Ex Private collection, Reading, Berkshire, England

Ex English Art Market

Ex Private collection

Unusually in this powerful example is almost like a root-stock natural formed head we find on Fiji root-stock clubs.


An Unusually Small Vanuatu Ball Headed Club

Fine glossy patina, old wear from use, very old loss Wood

New Hebrides, Vanuatu, Northern Malekula

19th Century size: 63 cm long – 24¾ ins long provenance: Ex Danish collection

Ex Private collection

During the 19th century the Islanders of the New Hebrides suffered extreme abuse at the hands of whalers and other traders and they became known for their hostility. Their most famous victim was the Reverend John Williams, a Welsh Methodist

missionary, The Martyr of Erromanga who was killed in 1839, and ever after commemorated in a Baxter print.

Despite this, although intertribal warfare was frequent on the Islands it took the form of ambushes and local skirmishes and there were few fatalities. A carved wood club such as this was the most favoured weapon.


A Throwing Club Ula

Dark patina, through use



Early 19th Century

size: 40 cm long – 15¾ ins long provenance: By descent from a Scottish military family

Ex Private Scottish collection

Ex Private collection

A tally of the kills was kept by nicking or notching the handle, as Baron Von Hugel observed in 1876 of a throwing club he had just collected (Gordon 1897 1:517): There are 50 notches in it and the Chief assured me it is the register of people it has killed. On my doubting it, he got quite angry, and assured me that it was edina edina sara and so I fancy there may be some truth in it especially as I had great difficulty in getting it at all


An Unusual Polynesian Child’s Fighting Club  Old patina and mellow colour  Wood


19th Century

size: 84.5 cm long –33¼ ins long

provenance: Ex Welsh collection, sold at auction


Ex Private collection


A Fine Jingasa with Mother-ofPearl Mosaic Decoration

Lacquer, wood, leather, mother-ofpearl, gilt


Late Edo Period – Circa 1861–1863

size: 7.5 cm high, 37 cm dia. –3 ins high, 14½ ins dia.

Decorated with three Kamon in gold Hiramakie of the Toyotomi family in the province of Japan, an old province, which today is part of the larger Shizuoka Prefecture. The interior decorated with a Tshugaru Nuri red lacquer.

Though Hideyoshi prohibited the use of both ‘chrysanthemum’ and paulownia crests, the ban had little effect and quite a number of daimyo¯ used these patterns during the Edo period.


A Very Fine and Rare Oceanic Club Finely Carved with TwentyNine Glyphs

Fine colour and patina



Late 18th Century

size: 85 cm long – 33½ ins long

provenance: Privately entered lot, English auction

Purchased through Finch and Co, June 2010

Ex Private collection

Finely engraved using stone, bird bone or shark’s tooth tools this club expresses the characteristically refined and complex style of Tongan decoration practised on war clubs in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The numerous zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures symbolically display the weapon’s mana and it would have been a treasured possession.

On Tonga and Fiji war occupied the entire male population. Boys were trained in the wielding and

parrying of arms from infancy, only being bestowed with a real man’s name once they had slain an enemy. Most fights began with a skirmish, showers of arrows, slung stones and spears being exchanged, but casualties became serious when opposing parties came to grips with clubs. Effective in close combat, clubs could shatter an enemy’s skull and cause irreversible damage to what Tongans and Fijians considered the most sacred part of the anatomy –the head.


A Rare and Early Northwest Coast Maternity Figure Aged patina through handling Wood

Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka’wakw)

Northwest Coast America / Nootka 19th Century

size: 20 cm high – 8 ins high provenance: Adam Prout, UK Ex Private collection

The elegant seated female figure holds her baby upon her knees, cradling the suckling infant’s head. The female figure displays a very distinctive conical shaped hairstyle, although the domed forehead, which was flattened artificially, was practiced by the Kosimo (Salish).

The Kwakiutl are one of several indigenous First Nations that inhabit the western coast of British Columbia, Canada, from central and northern Vancouver Island to the adjacent mainland coast.

The Kwakwaka’wakw, or Kwak’wala-speaking people, live along the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia. The tribes once numbered twenty-

eighty, who lived on northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland. They are known for the potlatch ceremony which in Kwak’waka literally means to give. The ceremony marks all the important moments in the life of the Kwakwaka’wakw: birth, marriage and death in particular. It is a jubilant celebration organised by the chief of a tribe or a host, during which offerings are offered, masks exhibited and dances staged.

Much of our early knowledge about the Kwakiutl is attributed to Franz Boas (1858–1943) and his close associate George Hunt (1854–1933). Boas, the first, and perhaps most famous, anthropologist to work with the Kwakiutl, conducted intermittent field work in the Northwest Coast between 1885 and 1930, engaging in ethnographic interviews, compiling myths and oral histories, charting Kwakiutl social and political organisation, and observing festivals and ceremonies. However, not without controversy, Boas was also an active collector of native skeletons used in early scientific research. George Hunt, a Kwakiutl considered by some to be among the first indigenous anthropologists, described himself as a collector and served as a translator and guide for Boas and several other prominent anthropologists engaged in ethnography and collecting, including the renowned photographer Edward Curtis and anthropologist Samuel A. Barrett.


A Life-Size Roman Portrait Head of Constantine the Great (c.272–337)

Wearing the Imperial Oak Wreath the decorative

border of his tunic can be clearly seen on the left hand side

Marble Italy

Early 4th Century ad

size: 38 cm high, 24.5 cm wide, 25 cm deep – 15 ins high, 9¾ ins wide, 10 ins deep

provenance: Ex Private collection, Cambridge, England note: For a very similar over lifesize portrait head of Constantine I (the Great) wearing an identical wreath dating from the early 4th century ad see: Yorkshire Museum, York, inv. no. YORYM 1998.23. Found in Eboracum (York) in 1823

literature: Rinaldi Tufi, S., Yorkshire. Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani (Great Britain); vol. 1, fasc. 3, Yorkshire. Oxford University Press, 1983; 23, no. 38, pl. 12

In ad 306, Constantine was hailed emperor in the Roman city of York; he was the first emperor to convert to Christianity. Born in Naissus, the son of Flavius Constantius, and Helena, a woman of low birth and a christian. Following his campaigns in the eastern provinces, Constantine was recalled in 305 to fight alongside his father in the province of Britannia. After his father’s death in 306, Constantine was acclaimed as imperator by his army at Eboracum (York), eventually being declared victorious after the civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of the Roman Empire in 324.

Constantine’s Christian belief cannot be underestimated, establishing the foundations of Western Christendom. In 313 he was influential in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan, declaring tolerance of Christianity within the Roman Empire. The Church

of the Holy Sepulchre, the purported site of Jesus’s tomb in Jerusalem, was built on his orders, considered the holiest place in all of Christendom

The age of Constantine was a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire marking a pivotal moment of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages. Constantine built a new residence in the city of Byzantium, renaming it New Rome, which later become Constantinople. It subsequently became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire, for the next 1,000 years. Eventually the city became modern day Istanbul.


A Rare Anthropomorphic Tsonga Headrest

An old paper label: African Pillow Bt. Webster. Sep 1897. P. Fine colour and patina through use Wood, pigment, paper label


19th Century

size: 11.5 cm high, 15 cm wide –4½ high, 6 ins wide provenance: Ex Pitt Rivers Museum collection, inventory number: 1342

Ex Webster collection, 1897

Galerie Monbrison, Paris, 2012

Ex Private collection

literature: Illustrated in: A Naturalist in the Transvaal, W. L. Distant; London, 1892, pg. 102, no. 7 (described as Magwamba Head-Rest)

Ancestral spirits were believed to communicate with their living descendants through dreams

and thus the support of dreams (Falgayrettes 1989), the headrest, manifested this interdependence in a material form. Headrests were often gifts taken by a bride to her new home when she married and this custom symbolically linked her ancestors with her husband’s.


A Fine and Large Walrus Penis

Bone Baculum Hand Club

Walrus bone

Arctic / Bering Strait

19th Century or earlier

size: 48.5 cm long – 19 ins long provenance: Ex Private collection

cf: Finch and Co, catalogue no. 6, item no. 15, for two ancient fossil penis bone clubs

In 1604 Stephen Bennett, an English sailor and adventurer, brought back to London a living young walrus he obtained in the Bear Islands. It excited much curiosity: The King and many honourable personages beheld it with admiration for the strangeness of the same, the like whereof had never before beene seene alive in England. Two years later Bennett killed between 600 and 700 walruses on Bear Island in six hours, and in 1608 a total of 1000 in seven hours. The figures are staggering and the overall slaughter so great that the walrus was practically exterminated in the area by 1613.

Once known as the sea horse, 19th century naturalists believed the walrus to be the link between mammals of the land and those of the sea. The male walrus lacks any externally visible penis, and in order to control body temperature in freezing Arctic waters, it is internal and supported by a bone called a baculum. Mating takes place in late Spring or early Summer on land.


A Khoisan Tobacco Smoking Pipe

Carved of a variegated green soapstone in the Dutch style (small chip)

Soapstone, metal South Africa

19th Century

size: 6 cm high, 5.5 cm wide, 2 cm deep – 2¾ ins high, 2¼ ins wide, ¾ ins deep

provenance: Ex Jacaranda Gallery LLC, New York City, USA, 2012

Ex Private collection

The carving of pipes among the Zulu speaking peoples of South Africa represents an artistic use of form which is not found in other objects, despite other artefacts such as beadwork being of equal cultural and social importance. Among smokers, pipes were used as indicators of social status and in general men’s pipes had broader bowls which held more tobacco while women’s pipes had a smaller capacity. Smoking was an important communal activity, and a lit pipe would be shared within a group with each member having their own removable mouth piece.


A Native American Plains Lakota

Sioux Swept Back Eagle Feather

War Bonnet A Skull Cap of

Tanned Deer Hide with Sinew

Attached Immature Eagle Feathers and Central Flying Plume of Fluff or Breath Feathers a Brow-Band

Sewn to the Edge of Cap above the Forehead Trimmed with

Glass Seed Beads and with Thirty Golden Eagle Feathers Attached with Strips of Red Trade Cloth all Edged with Red Dyed Horse Hair Danglers to each side composed of strips of silk muslin cotton and owl feathers

North America

Circa 1870–1900

size: approx: 40 cm high, 60 cm deep, 45 cm wide – 15¾ ins high, 23½ ins deep, 17¾ wide provenance: Ex Private collection Mario Luraschi, Paris Ex Private European collection Finch and Co, catalogue no. 24, item no. 1, 2015 Ex Private U.K. collection

Nothing is more symbolic of the Plains Indian than the eagle feather headdress worn by chiefs and other high ranking oYcers in tribal military society. The eagle feathered bonnet signified a warrior’s prowess in battle and is thought to have originated with the Crow or Sioux.

Pictorial evidence indicates that the swept back war bonnet was developed and accepted as a symbol of prestige among the central and Northern Plains tribes by the early 1800s. A young Pawnee brave Petalesharro was painted by Charles Bird King in 1822 wearing a flaring headdress of eagle feathers trimmed with ermine skins. Edwin Denig, a factor for the American Fur Company in the 1850s, reported that the Assiniboin were willing to pay two horses for two tails of the war eagle, each containing twelve feathers, if the feathers were wrought into a cap.

The feather of an eagle symbolised the highest honour that a warrior could win. An eagle feather war bonnet could only be worn by an individual who had gained the respect of the

leading men in the community and who had gained war honours

The number of feathers indicated the number of captures and scalps taken in battle. The soft downy immature eagle feathers used on the headdress were symbolic of mysterious forces, their continuous fine fluttering movement suggesting communications with the supernatural powers.


A Fine Sculpture Depicting the Flagellation of Christ

Bronze, wood, silver Italy

Early 17th Century

size: 37 cm high, 38 cm wide, 23.5 cm deep – 14½ ins high, 15 ins wide, 9¾ ins deep

provenance: Carlo Gaetano Stampa (1667–1742), Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan

Sotheby’s, London, A Collection of Renaissance Bronzes, Property of a Gentleman, 30 June 1969, lot 63

Sotheby’s, London, European Works of Art, 4 July 1984, lot 105

literature: V. Golzio, Lo Studio di Ercole Ferrata, Archivi, II, (1935)

J. Montagu, A Flagellation Group: Algardi or du Quesnoy? Bulletin des Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, (1966–7) pp. 153–193

M. Heimburger Ravalli, Alessandro Algardi Scultore, (Rome – 1973)

G.P. Bellori, Le Vite de’ pittori, scoltori e architetti moderni, E. Borea (ed.) (Turin – 1976)

After the flagellation, a cohort of soldiers gathered around Christ in Pilate’s headquarters, stripped Him, put a purple robe around His shoulders, a twisted crown of thorns on His head and a reed in imitation of a sceptre in His hand. They knelt before Him and cried, Hail, King of the Jews then led Him away to be crucified. Carved with a scene from Christ’s Passion, the panel would have provided a focus for prayer and meditation and may have been used in conjunction with a set text such as the Via Crucis or stations of the cross, a devotion which comprises fourteen images from the Passion before which prayers and passages of the gospels are recited during Holy Week.

The Crown of Thorns is a parody of the crown of roses that the Roman Emperor wore at festivals, and is portrayed as a circular woven ring. The soldiers were recorded as having twisted thorns into a crown. Together with the cross, nails and whip, it is a potent symbol of Good Friday.


A Finely Carved Zoomorphic Headrest in the Form of an Antelope

Fine colour and patina


Shona / Tsonga Zimbabwe / South


19th Century

size: 16 cm high, 15 cm wide,

7 cm deep – 6¼ ins high, 6 ins wide, 2¾ ins deep

provenance: English auction


Ex Private collection

Headrests were very personal objects; aside from serving as a pillow and protecting ornate hairstyles, they became closely linked with the owner’s identity over a lifetime of use. Headrests bear either a covert or explicit resemblance to a bull and were given by a bride to her husband with the intention of recalling the gift of cattle that his family had given to hers in recognition of her worth, and as a way of sealing an alliance between the two families. A herd of cattle was the supreme symbol of social harmony, wealth, pride and power to the people of the cattle based migrant culture of Southern Africa. Caring for cattle determined the migratory nature of the group’s existence, resulting in a set of beliefs coherent with this way of life. Reverence for the ancestors aligns with a profound respect for cattle, thus creating a symbolic world that reinforces and underpins the relationship between the group and its cattle, ancestors and the fertility required for future survival.


An Unusual Berchtesgaden

Turned Fantasy Tower in its Original Travelling Case Bone, nutmeg, wood, paper, polychrome


17th Century

size: 19 cm high – 7½ ins high / case: 5 cm high, 5.5 cm wide, 22.5 cm long – 2 ins high, 2¼ ins wide, 9 ins long

provenance: Ex Finch and Co, catalogue no. 21, item no. 48, 2013 Ex Private collection

Aesthetically pleasing and artistically fascinating, the art of turning ivory on a lathe to produce varying geometrical shapes was extremely popular in the northern courts of Europe.

Practised as a form of leisure activity by the aristocracy, it was a major domestic art form comparable perhaps with embroidery. The tradition dated back to the 16th and 17th centuries when ivory turning was patronised by royalty. Christof Angermair (1580–1633) was the court turner to Maximilian, Elector of Bavaria, and was held in such high esteem by his master that he was allowed to marry into the noble family.


A Superb and Rare Jingasa in the Shape of Mount Fuji

Very fine condition Black lacquer, wood, cotton, leather, gilt Japan

Late Edo Period / 1854–1860

size: 12 cm high, 43 cm dia. –4¾ ins high, 17 ins dia.

provenance: Ex Private collection

exhibited: Ministero della Cultura, Museo d’Arte Orientale, Venezia, Italia

publications: Daruma Magazine, Spring 2004, pg. 51, fig. 22

The jingasa is a type of kasa commonly worn by Samurai and ashigaru (foot soldiers). The Samurai class in feudal Japan, as well as their retainers and foot soldiers, used several types of jingasa made of lacquer, iron, copper, wood, paper, bamboo or leather, which almost always had crests on them.

This jingasa of ichimonji type, moulded from boiled leather, nerikawa urushi-nuri and dry lacquer harikake, is a very unusual hat, the graceful flared flanks and

flat top reminiscent of the sacred Mount Fuji. The underside is with small squares of gold leaf. Unusally, the hat still retains a washi (paper bag) with kanji reading: Anseï era, 1857, the year of the Snake,

South African headrests. The iconography suggests that this headrest probably belonged to a man of status and high rank.


A Porphyry

Mortar and Pestle Porphyry


17th Century

size: 9.5 cm high, 11.5 cm dia. –3¾ ins high, 4½ ins dia. / pestle: 11 cm long – 4¼ ins dia.


An Egyptian Porphyry

provenance: Christie’s, South Kensington, A Collection of Mortars, November 2003

Ex Robert Young Antiques

Ex Private collection

An Unusually Large and Fine Tsonga Antelope Headrest

Wood, pigment, glass beads


19th Century

size: 20 cm high, 32 cm wide –8 ins high, 12½ ins wide provenance: Ex Private UK collection

Sold through auction and purchased through Finch and Co, March 2012

Ex Private collection exhibited: BRUNEAF, Bruxelles, La tête dans les étoiles. Appuis-Nuque d’Afrique de d’ailleurs 6–10 June 2012

Among the Tsonga, wood carving was an exclusively male occupation and the types of objects carved, such as meat dishes, milk pails, headrests and staffs, were strongly associated with men, their cattle and the ancestors.

Ancestral spirits were believed to communicate with their living descendants through dreams and thus the support of dreams (Falgayrettes 1989), the headrest, manifested this interdependence in a material form. Headrests were often gifts taken by a bride to her new home when she married and this custom symbolically linked her ancestors with her husband’s.

Representational animal figures, mostly of antelope and cattle, appear very rarely in the art of

Mortar and Pestle Porphyry


17th Century

size: 11.5 cm high, 17.5 cm dia. – 4½ ins high, 7 ins dia. / pestle: 13.5 cm long – 5¼ ins long

provenance: Christie’s, South Kensington, A Collection of Mortars, November 2003

Ex Robert Young Antiques Ex Private collection

see: Porphyry, Red Imperial Porphyry, Power and Religion, Dario del Bufalo, 2013, illustrated: pg. 205 M21.

Reference: Georg Ortiz Auction, Sotheby’s 1994, lot 241


An Egyptian Porphyry Mortar Porphyry


17th Century

size: 10.5 cm high, 12 cm dia. –4 ins high, 4¾ ins dia.

provenance: Ex Werner Muensterberger, psychologist, author and collector

Ex Anthony Ralph, USA Ex Private collection

see: Porphyry, Red Imperial Porphyry, Power and Religion, Dario del Bufalo, 2013, illustrated: pg. 205 M21.


A Massive Eight Fold Byobu Screen with Nine Manchurian Cranes

Fine overall condition

Paper, gold leaf, silk, ink, wood, metal

After Sakai Hoitsu (1761–1828)

signed: Hoitsu Itsu / Rimpa School Japan

Meiji Period / 19th Century

size: 179 cm high – 533 cm wide / 70½ ins high, 210 ins wide / 5 feet 10½ ins, 17 feet 5¾ ins wide

This exceptional, very large screen depicts seven Manchurian Cranes standing and eating, while a pair of cranes gently glide downwards to join the flock

Byobu, which means wind walls (屏 byo wall and 風 bu wind), are ornate and decorated mobile walls used to separate interior spaces and provide privacy within a section of a room. As their name suggests,

they were originally used as windbreakers in the airy Japanese residences of antiquity.

Born into the family of the feudal Lords of Himeji castle, Sakai Ho¯itsu had a privileged upbringing providing him the opportunity to study Noh drama, haiku poetry, teaceremony, music and painting. As was common during the Edo period, Hoitsu began his study of painting with the oYcially sanctioned Kano School, later receiving influence from and instruction in the contemporary Ukiyo-e, Maruyama-Shijo and Nagasaki styles. Taking tonsure as a monk in 1797 Hoitsu freed himself of his significant familial obligations and immersed himself in the study of the life and art of Ogata Korin (1658–1716). He was inspired by the fact that a century earlier Hoitsu’s family had been among Korin’s chief patrons; numerous masterpieces by Korin were preserved in their family collection. In 1815, 100 years after Korin’s death, Hoitsu published Korin Hyakuzu (One Hundred Paintings by Korin), woodblock print reproductions of paintings by the master. Besides honouring Korin in this way, he clearly traced the lineage of what would come to be known in a later age as the Rinpa (Rimpa) School. Hoitsu, while taking Korin’s works as his model, went on to create highly affecting works reflective of the refined tastes of his day.


A Fine Baroque Grey Marble Oval Vase and Cover of Elegant Shape

Bigio Antico Marble

Rome, Italy

17th / 18th Century

size: 39 cm high – 15¼ ins high

provenance: Purchased Firenze,

Italia 2000

Ex Private collection

The Baroque period originated in Italy in the 17th century and flourished across Europe embracing painting, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts and in the 18th century music as well. The Italian peak of Baroque can be seen in the many churches of the period. The elegant marble vase and cover was probably intended for such a building and could have been positioned around a high altar niche

16 cm deep – 18¾ ins high, 11 ins wide, 6¼ ins deep / 54 cm high21⅓ ins high (with base)

provenance: Ex Private English collection

The simplest form of early Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Pictish Christian monument is the cross marked stone, said to have originated in British and Irish missionary work among the Northern British in the 6th and 7th centuries. In the Life of St

An Unusually Large and Rare

Anglo-Saxon / Celtic Stone Marker Stone

With carved cross to the front and two carved Celtic heads to either side



1st to 2nd Century ad and 6th to 7th Century ad

size: 48 cm high, 28 cm wide,

Columba by Adomnán there is a story of how one of the earliest of these crosses was made by the saint himself when he marked the gates of the hilltop fortress near Loch Ness, the northern base of the powerful pagan Pictish King Bridei, with the sign of the Lord’s cross in order to gain entry and secure his co-operation in allowing a start to be made in the conversion of his people. Sometimes referred to as a prayer-cross these symbol incised stone slabs were a basic aid for instruction and devotion. They could also afford protection at the entrance of a building and marked the ground upon which they stood as sacred, whether on funerary ground or in an enclosed devotional space. The art of the cross marked stone slab in Britain is part of a common cultural package brought by Christianity to these shores and the displaying of these early symbolic stones was a token of the acceptance by the AngloSaxons, Celts and Picts of the Christian faith. It has been suggested that the stone marker is without doubt of Celtic origin, dating from the 1st to 2nd centuries ad , with the addition of the cross a few centuries afterwards with the widespread influence of Christianity across the kingdom.

Design by Prof. Phil Cleaver & Zhouyan Sun of etal-design, etal@etal-design.com

Photography by Phil Connor, phillip_connor@icloud.com

Printed and bound in Great Britain by Pureprint

© 2023 Finch C o isbn


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