Extraordinary example, evidently a symbol of rank for a chief. 39" length, of conventional form, but crafted and decorated to the very highest standard. Elegant lines with finely formed back projection, the underside (striking surface) carved as 29 toothed edge layered bands. Fine crest to the leading edge. The balance covered in panels of characteristic houndstooth bands. Sennit thong above the expanded butt. Probably third quarter of the 19th century when Fiji experienced limited settlement by the British whose policy it was to not interfere with native cultural practice (cannibalism). Showing genuine age with good patina but crisp and unblemished. Likely displayed and handled very little. Clunie illustrates an example, fig. 3a described as Gata, Sobesila, sali vatuvatu and states that the name may refer to a furled canoe sail, which accords with the layered under side here. He states that no specimen of this type is in the Fiji Museum. Two such examples, very possibly these very same ones, came to market about 12 years ago and were sold at auction, each, for $2,400.00 plus premium, about $2,900.00.

Stock Number: FNS324

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