19th C. Trobriand Island Massim Lime Spatula, Ex. Helena Rubinstein Collection
Origin: New Guinea, Trobriand Island, Massim people. Provenance: Ex. Collection of Helena Rubinstein! By descent through the family (Cousin Lilith Fass). See documentation and photos.
Period: At least late 19th century, likely older
Materials: Ebony hardwood, lime
Description: This large example of a lime spatula is documented in photos of Helena Rubinstein's collection and has an attached corresponding label. It is carved with non-metal tools like a rat tooth or shell. It features curvilinear decoration on both sides of the handle, having a stylized ancestor face at the bottom. The lower half of the spatula shows evidence of stone and or coral rasp marks in its manufacture. There is a pierced hole on top for a hanging cord. Above that is a small raised node which could be the remnants of a small finial. Presented on a custom metal display stand.
Dimensions: Height 22.5” (57 cm), Width 1.5” (4 cm)