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Treasure Box with Lid (Wakahuia)

Arts of the Pacific Islands

MEDIUM Wood, fiber
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 4 1/2 x 20 3/4 x 6 1/8 in. (11.4 x 52.7 x 15.6 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Lent by Mr. and Mrs. Gerhard Stebich
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Oval shaped box with lid. The lid is elaborately decorated with curvilinear lines. There are two lugs, one at each end with fiber attached to each. In the center of the lid and extending from end to end is a carved oval chain-link pattern; the same pattern also extends across the width of the lid. (BMA Notice of Arrival, 1/29/82) The exterior of the box is decorated with carved curvilinear lines in an elaborate pattern and includes the same oval chainlink pattern found on the lid. On the bottom, one at each end, are two complete stylized human images with avian characteristics. Condition: Excellent. Lid: the fiber attachments are dry and delicate and slightly frayed. The underside of the lid has three small oval shaped white areas (possibly old stains or wear marks). Edges of the lid show evidence of wear. Lid is marked in white ink: "H. 60". Box: Interior shows evidence of staining, gouge marks on both sides near center, check extending up the side at one, small round void at other end. At one end inside is the mark "H. 60" in white ink. There is evidence of wear along uneven rim. The exterior of the box is in excellent condition. This type of box is known as "wakahuia" and was used for storage of precious feather or jade ornaments.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Maori. Treasure Box with Lid (Wakahuia), 19th century. Wood, fiber, 4 1/2 x 20 3/4 x 6 1/8 in. (11.4 x 52.7 x 15.6 cm). Lent by Mr. and Mrs. Gerhard Stebich, L82.21.1a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, L82.21.1a-b_top_bw.jpg)
IMAGE top, L82.21.1a-b_top_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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