Jade Currency Axe, New Caledonia

57cm, width of stone 21cm

The stone, which was the valued part of these prestige objects, is pre-contact, and of exceptional color and size. The tapa and fine binding on the handle suggest it dates to the early 19th century. The bottom of the handle is unique – tufts of horse mane hair, each wrapped with a bit of red trade cloth at its end, are inserted into a ball of parinarium gum. This was likely added later in the 19th century, perhaps as a result of the normal terminus (a wrapped half-coconut) being damaged or destroyed.

Formerly in the collection of noted German paleontologist and geologist Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald (1902-1982).

Price on request

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