Superb New Guinea, Lower Sepik, Ramu River Betel Nut Mortar
Origin: New Guinea, Lower Sepik, Ramu River (Provenance: Ex. David Rosenthal, San Francisco/ Paris. Ex. Michael Grebainer Collection, Brisbane CA)
Period/Date: approx. 1915-1930 Materials: hardwood, residue
Description: This gem of a mortar features a bold early style ancestor figure. Broad shoulders with angular form, having arms carved away from the body. Oversized head with mask-like face, cantilevered from the body. Note the fruit bat merging into the upper forehead, framing it! Oversized nose with pierced septum. The back of the head has a clan motif looking likes eyes having and a stylized face. Dark brown patina turning to red, semi-encrusted varied surface especially in the bowl. Good condition. Old Loss to left ear. Presented on an old custom wood base.
Used for crushing and chewing "betel nut" and mixed with lime for potent stimulant.
Dimensions: Height 5 3/8” (13.5 cm), width 2.5” (6.5 cm)