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Cord Handle

Arts of the Pacific Islands

This decorated cord handle from a coconut shell or gourd container features carved bone toggles depicting important ancestors or deities. These toggles exhibit some of the defining characteristics of Marquesan figurative sculpture, including large, rounded eyes, a wide nose, a broad, thin mouth with a slightly protruding tongue, double scroll ears, and hands placed on a swelling belly.

CULTURE Marquesan
MEDIUM Bone, seeds, coir
DATES 18th or 19th century
DIMENSIONS 23 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/4 in. (59.1 x 3.8 x 3.2 cm) For display: 12 x 6 x 1 1/4 in. (30.5 x 15.2 x 3.2 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
PROVENANCE Prior to 1938, provenance not yet documented; by 1938, acquired by Samuel T. Freeman & Co., Philadelphia; 1938, purchased from Samuel T. Freeman & Co. by the Brooklyn Museum.
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Calabash cord with a tiki of human bone and 5 black seeds on each side. Cord of braided sennit used to suspend coconut containers. Ornaments of bone and seeds strung on cord. Condition: good
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Marquesan. Cord Handle, 18th or 19th century. Bone, seeds, coir, 23 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1 1/4 in. (59.1 x 3.8 x 3.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 38.638. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 38.638_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 38.638_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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