Admiralty
War Charm

oceania | Admiralty Islands

Admiralty
War Charm

Admiralty Islands

War charm
Admiralty Islands, Bismark Archipelago, Papua New Guinea

Early 20th century
Carved wood, feathers and pigments
Height : 48 cm – 17 ¾ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Bela Hein (1883-1931), Paris
Ex collection Marc de Monbrison (1942-1985), Paris
By descent

Published: FAB Paris, 2023
Admiralty War Charm 48 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
These neck ornaments were worn by warriors from the Admiralty Islands.
They served as powerful war charms believed to offer protection against the dangers of combat. They were said to render the wearer invulnerable to enemies.
As noted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (see inventory number 1980.546 for a comparable example), the ornaments were worn on the back of the neck, secured by a necklace of cordage tied so tightly that the head faced upward and the feathers projected horizontally.
The ancient neck ornament shown here was part of the collections of Bela Hein, a legendary art dealer in Paris before the 1930s.

Video

Documentation

homme portant un charme de guerre art oceanien anthony jp meyer fig p

Matankol from Lambutjo decorated for war, Fülleborn, Admiralitäts Inseln, Dr Hans Nevermann, pl. 3, 1934

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