A very rare War-Horn, or trumpet.

A very rare War-Horn, or trumpet.

Iatmul People, Sepik River, PNG, Melanesia. Stone carved wood with pigments and a fine patina of age and wear. 70.3 X 14.6 Ø cm. 19th century.

Provenance: Acquired in the Early 1990's from Michael Hamson.

Literature: Ref. :
Kelm, H.: KUNST VOM SEPIK. Vol. I, II, III. Berlin, Museum für Volkerkunde. 1966.

The finial is carved as a superbly elongated human head with slanted eyes and a long trumpet-like nose with fine flared nostrils above a small smiling mouth. The rear of the head is flattened and the suspension loop is carved to represent the scaly head of a mudfish. A large ancestor face with a pointed chin is carved, up-side down, on the rear lower section of the horn. An incised stick figure with spindly arms is carved to the lower front side. The edge of the mouth of the horn is decorated with a scalloped band of carving. This type of horn was most often used during headhunting raids and for battle.