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Rare 19th C. Tahitian Society Islands Shell Crown

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Rare 19th C. Tahitian Society Islands Shell Crown
Item Details
Description
Oceania/Polynesia, Tahiti, Society Islands, ca. 19th century CE. A gorgeous, incredibly rare crown, consisting of hundreds of carefully stitched white and pale orange-tipped white tulip-shaped seashells. These are placed to create a series of broad, diagonal stripes of color. They are stitched onto a background of tightly woven coconut fiber. A long necklace composed of white, black, and pale orange shell beads strung on coconut fiber is also included. These ornaments were made to be worn by rulers in the pre-Contact Society Islands. Polynesian societies had hereditary leaders known as "ali'i" who ruled a society similar to European feudal ones. Personal ornament was crucial to distinguish roles in this society, and a crown like this one indicated the highest rank. The missionaries who Christianized Polynesia disapproved of these practices, and most of these ornaments were lost during that time period, making this a very rare find. Size of crown: 8.5" diameter x 2" H (21.6 cm x 5.1 cm); 8" H (20.3 cm) on included custom stand. Size (bead strand): 72" L (182.9 cm); (each bead): 0.2" W (0.5 cm)

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Leo Fortress collection, Hawaii, USA, before 2000

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany. For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.

Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.

#148288
Condition
A few of the shells are lost. Nice deposits on many of the shells. Slight fraying to woven components on both the necklace and crown.
Buyer's Premium
  • 26.5%

Rare 19th C. Tahitian Society Islands Shell Crown

Estimate $2,500 - $3,750
Aug 11, 2022
See Sold Price
Starting Price $1,200
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Artemis Gallery

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0203: Rare 19th C. Tahitian Society Islands Shell Crown

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $2,500 - $3,750Starting Price $1,200
Beauty & Beasts: Ancient, Ethno, Fine Art
Aug 11, 2022 10:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 26.5%

Lot 0203 Details

Description
...
Oceania/Polynesia, Tahiti, Society Islands, ca. 19th century CE. A gorgeous, incredibly rare crown, consisting of hundreds of carefully stitched white and pale orange-tipped white tulip-shaped seashells. These are placed to create a series of broad, diagonal stripes of color. They are stitched onto a background of tightly woven coconut fiber. A long necklace composed of white, black, and pale orange shell beads strung on coconut fiber is also included. These ornaments were made to be worn by rulers in the pre-Contact Society Islands. Polynesian societies had hereditary leaders known as "ali'i" who ruled a society similar to European feudal ones. Personal ornament was crucial to distinguish roles in this society, and a crown like this one indicated the highest rank. The missionaries who Christianized Polynesia disapproved of these practices, and most of these ornaments were lost during that time period, making this a very rare find. Size of crown: 8.5" diameter x 2" H (21.6 cm x 5.1 cm); 8" H (20.3 cm) on included custom stand. Size (bead strand): 72" L (182.9 cm); (each bead): 0.2" W (0.5 cm)

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Leo Fortress collection, Hawaii, USA, before 2000

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany. For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.

Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.

#148288
Condition
...
A few of the shells are lost. Nice deposits on many of the shells. Slight fraying to woven components on both the necklace and crown.

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