North Coast Suspension Hook
A small very fine and elegant ceremonial suspension hook carved using the natural branches of a sapling. The classical elongated head representing an ancestor (perhaps wearing a bird-like mask) with the sharply pointed chin and cheek studs, shows tear-drop eyes and a long beak-like nose. The hook is pierced under the head behind the chin for suspension. The face is painted with lime and there are traces all over of a red ocher wash. The patina shows a thin accumulation of soot. Aitape coastline, North Coast, P.N.G., Melanesia. Wood with a fine patination of age and usage. 30 x 35,5 cm. 19/20th century.
Provenance Ex collection Leo Fleischmann, Sydney, inv. N° LF/I85. Acquired from Fleischmann personal collection circa 1987/1991.
Literature: For similar facial structure see the mask inv. N° E139 in the Queensland Museum collected by Wildonson before 1912, pub. Meyer, Oceanic Art, 1995, FIG. 350, p. 314.