Dance Ornament

Archives | New Ireland

Dance Ornament

New Ireland

Vatlam hornbill figure
Mouth ornament for Malagan rituals
Central New Ireland

Carved wood, shell and pigments
Late 19th century
Height: 6 in. (15 cm)
Length: 12 ¾ in. (32.5 cm)

Provenance:
Field-collected by Dr. Augustin Krämer in the village of Lambusso, New Ireland on May 7th, 1909
Ex collection Linden Museum, Stuttgart inv. L.2/17 S/16
Ex collection Serge Brignoni, Switzerland acquired from the Linden Museum on November 7, 1957
Ex collection Mathias Komor, New York by 1964
Ex collection Nancy R. and Myron L. Mayer, New York City acquired from M. Komor on September 26th, 1964
By descent in the Mayer Estate until 2020

Sold
This bird figure (hornbill) is a dance ornament that was held between the teeth by a dancer or sometimes placed in the mouth of a mask during the ritual ceremonies of the Malangan (Malagan).
This hornbill mouthpiece is one of the seven ornaments collected in central New Ireland, Lambusso village in the spring 1909 by Augustin Krämer from the German Marine Expedition. It later entered the collections of the Linden Museum in Stuttgart (reference L.2/17 S/16 in Krämer’s notes, and accessioned as 84375 by the Museum). It was eventually sold to Serge Brignoni on 6 November 1957 and was later part of prominent North American collections.

Dr Jean-Philippe Beaulieu has written a comprehensive essay on this ornament.

Documentation

Drawing by Augustin Krämer,
Linden Museum archives

Registry notes by Augustin Krämer,
Linden Museum archives

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