Carved and painted wooden ornament with central carved face and fish designs at ends. [SM (Verve) 27/02/2013]
Place details: OCEANIA MELANESIA. Papua New Guinea. New Ireland Bismarck Archipelago. Local Name: malangan Materials: Wood Plant / Pigment / Textile / Operculum Shell / ?Plant Seed / ?. Processes: Carved / Painted / Perforated / Incised / Inlaid / ? / ?. Dimensions: Max L = 710 mm Max W = 188 mm Field Collector: H.A. Tufnell possibly Henry Archibald Tufnell or William Macgregor When Collected: By 1899 Other Owners: H.A. Tufnell possibly Henry Archibald Tufnell PRM Source: Henry Anson Acquired: Donated July 1899 Documentation: Letter from H. Anson to H. Balfour pasted into Accessions Book. See RDF for photocopy of the Armorial Bearings of Sir William Macgregor PRM Image: Postcard; Color trans. CD21.3 (Scanned November 2003); Collections Digital Reference Photo 27/02/2013
KEYWORD: Ornament / Fish Figure / CLASS: Ornament / Religion / Figure / ?.
Object description: Carved and painted wooden ornament with central carved face and fish designs at ends. The ornament is painted with black, white and red pigment. The fish are carved on both surfaces of the ornament and have green operculum shell eyes. One eye is missing on the back of the object. The centre of the ornament has a carved face with red hair made from ?plant seeds covered with red pigment. This face also has green operculum shell eyes. Above this is a more stylised carved face, again with green operculum shell eyes, a carved mouth and a rectangle of red textiles between the eyes. The perforated designs on the ornament are also incised with linear designs. [SM (Verve) 27/02/2013]
Accession Book Entry - July. HENRY ANSON Esq, East Close, Christchurch, Hants. Collection of specimens from the S. Pacific, formerly the private colln. of H.A. Tufnell of Wimbledon; a part was collected by Sir William Macgregor, & part by Mr. Tufnell during a voyage in the S. Pacific. New Ireland: pair of carved & painted wooden ornaments with central masks & fish designs at ends
Additional Accession Book Entry - 189962.401.1-2 Numbers given. LM.
Written on object - NEW IRELAND H. A. TUFNELL COLL. bequeathed 1899 [SM (Verve) 27/02/2013]
Related Documents File - Handwritten note to Balfour from H. Anson, dated 21 March 1899: 'If you would kindly call at 34 Chester Square on Col. Tufnell he will have been advised by me of your coming. The curios are in his house at Wimbledon & he will give you ever facility. The greater [?sic] part of the Collection belonged to Sir Will MacGregor late Governor of British New Guinea, he is in London now and I will ask him to make a note or two for me about some of the things. There is a catalogue but as the books here left to the Revd. Lt. Tufnell and it was included probably in this despatch I cannot get at it until the library is unpacked. i should think Col Tufnell could wait until you return from Italy.' Photocopy of the armourial bearings of Sir William MacGregor, 1847 - 1919, Governor of Newfoundland 1904 - 1909. [MOB 9/10/2001]
Display history: Current Display Label [C.5.A] SOUTH PACIFIC. MELANESIA. BISMARK ARCHIPELAGO. NEW IRELAND. Carved and painted wooden malanggan with face in centre and fish decorations at either end. Used in mortuary rites and initiation ceremonies, these carvings are the most important ritual objects in New Ireland society. The work of making them is done in a secluded lace. The knowledge of how to make and paint each type and of the associated rituals is passed down in families but may be sold to others after a series of lengthy meetings and feasts over a period of some three months during which the knowledge is passed on. In 1930 such knowledge cost about £50. See Powdermaker, H. Life in Lesu; The Study of a Melanesian Society in New Ireland, London, 1933 [SM (Verve) 06/03/2013]
Other information: The two wooden ornaments are 1899.62.401.1 and 1899.62.401.2 [SM (Verve) 27/02/2013]