NEWSLETTER


Bruce Frank Primitive Art
208 W 83rd St NYC
+1 212 579 3596

Betel Mortar

Middle Sepik River region, Papua New Guinea, 19th Century

Previous Collection: John Friede, Rye, New York
Wooden betel mortars are fairly common in New Guinea, but this one is special. It is stone carved, and has a wonderful handled encrusted surface with most of the red ochre pigment still intact. The cavity inside the mortar shows extensive signs of use. What really sets this piece apart is that it packs so much art into its small size. The two primary faces in Janus form are Flying Foxes. But holding this piece in one’s hand and turning it around and upside down reveals many other hidden faces.

Betel Mortar

Middle Sepik River region, Papua New Guinea, 19th Century

Previous Collection: John Friede, Rye, New York
Wooden betel mortars are fairly common in New Guinea, but this one is special. It is stone carved, and has a wonderful handled encrusted surface with most of the red ochre pigment still intact. The cavity inside the mortar shows extensive signs of use. What really sets this piece apart is that it packs so much art into its small size. The two primary faces in Janus form are Flying Foxes. But holding this piece in one’s hand and turning it around and upside down reveals many other hidden faces.