Fine early New Guinea Middle Sepik River, Flute Stopper/ Lime Container, Complete!
Origin: New Guinea, East Sepik Province, Middle Sepik River, likely Iatmul people.
Period: Likely Circa 1930-40s. A closely related example, attributed to being late 19th -Early 20th century, can be seen in the Brooklyn Museum NY.
Materials: hardwood, bamboo, rattan, fiber, earth pigments, shell, lime residue
Description: This flute stopper features an expressive Rooster head with coxcomb. The body of the bird transforms into an ancestor figure with long projecting nose, while its legs and feet are resting on the Jaws of a Crocodile! Note the vast negative space between the ancestor figure and Crocodile head. These flute stoppers, represent among the finest and most complex master-carvings of the Sepik River. This is a "complete" example, even retaining its finial knob stopper at the end of the bamboo lime container. It has layered pigments and has acquired a dark varied dry patina from long use. Its rattan binding shows significant age with oxidized pigments. Presented on a custom wood and metal display stand.
Dimensions: Overall Length 28.5” (72.5 cm), Width 2.75” (7 cm). Length of the stopper 18" (46 cm)