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Kapkap ornament

New Ireland

19th century
Diameter: 2 ¼ in. (6 cm)

Ex collection Jef Van Der Straete, Brussels
Ex Christie’s Paris, 11 Dec. 2007, lot 380 and back cover
Ex private collection, France

Published in: Ferocious Poetry, Ancient Arts of New Ireland, 2019

Price: sold

Melanesia – Eastern Papua New Guinea
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Kapkap were used as adornments and served as a sign of social status. Kapkap were worn on great occasions: festivities, rituals or war expeditions. They could be worn as a pendant, as hair or forehead adornements or around the waist.

The highly refined example shown here came from the celebrated collection of Jef Van Der Straete.