Stirring Paddle
Massim, Papua New Guinea
19th Century
Provenance: John Friede, Rye, NY.

This large paddle or spatula is an early example of its kind. The long spatula is topped with a rounded figure, archaic in style. In later examples, the top figures become much more stylized and elaborate. However, this example depicts a naturalistic human head atop an abstract body. The face is simply carved with geometric shapes used for the eyes and nose. A projection connects the chin to the figure's torso, which exhibits a circular snake like depiction. This figure served as a protective agent as well as a utilitarian object. The body of the spatula exhibits a deep multi-colored patina, evidence of extensive use.

Height: 25 in. Figure Height: 5 in.
IN. 1-11-15/ SOLD