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Massim People, Kiriwina Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea late 19th – early 20th century

Rare Massim Ancestral Figure – Late 19th to Early 20th Century

Origins and Cultural Significance

This carved seated protective figure, attributed to the Massim people of Kiriwina Island in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea, dates back to the late 19th to early 20th century. The Massim culture is renowned for its elaborate and finely crafted wooden carvings, which are deeply embedded in their ceremonial and spiritual practices. These figures often serve as guardians, believed to hold protective and ancestral powers, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and spiritual beliefs of the Massim people.

Artistic and Craftsmanship Excellence

The figure is meticulously carved from a single piece of wood, showcasing the exceptional skill and artistry of the Massim carvers. The lime inlay work, a distinctive feature of Massim art, enhances the intricate patterns and highlights the detailed craftsmanship. The stylized features and symbolic patterns are not merely decorative but carry profound cultural meanings, often related to protection, lineage, and ancestral veneration.

Historical Context and Influence

Massim carvings, such as this protective figure, provide invaluable insights into the social and spiritual life of the Massim people. These artifacts are more than artistic expressions; they are cultural documents that convey the values, beliefs, and historical narratives of the community. The use of lime inlay is particularly noteworthy, as it is a traditional technique that adds both aesthetic and symbolic depth to the carvings.

Condition and Provenance

This figure remains in excellent condition, with its original patina and lime inlay intact. The preservation of these elements enhances its authenticity and historical significance. The provenance of this piece is well-documented, tracing its journey from the Massim community to a reputable collection that values the preservation of indigenous art. This well-documented history ensures that the figure is not only a captivating object but also a verifiable artifact of cultural heritage.

Collectible Value

For collectors of ethnographic art, this Massim protective figure represents a unique and valuable acquisition. Its authenticity, condition, and documented provenance make it a significant addition to any collection focused on indigenous art and cultural artifacts. The figure’s historical and cultural richness, combined with its artistic beauty, ensures its place as a coveted piece in any discerning collection.

Nicholas Wells Antiques advisors are available to answer all your questions. 

Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897
Massim People, Kiriwina Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea late 19th – early 20th century

Carved Seated Massim Protective Figure with Lime Inlay

Stock Number: 10464

Carved Seated Massim Protective Figure with Lime Inlay
Massim People, Kiriwina Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea
late 19th – early 20th century
Dimension is approximate.
  • Height : 38 cm (15 inches)

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This unique piece is subject to availability.
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Dimensions

Approximate Dimensions

  • Height : 38 cm (15 inches)

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Guarantee

Our description of any item on the website, any condition report and any other statement made by us (whether orally or in writing) about any item, including about its nature or condition, artist, period, materials, approximate dimensions, or provenance are our opinion and not to be relied upon as a statement of fact.

Returns

In the UK Online sales of this kind are known as ‘distance selling’. We offer a refund to customers if you’ve told us within 3 days of receiving the goods that you want to cancel. You have another 14 days to return the goods once you’ve told us of your intention. A refund will be issued within 14 days of receiving the goods back in the same condition. Return shipping should be the same level as received with insurance, we recommend using the same shipper at your cost. If needed we will help organise suitable shipping.

We will refund the purchase price, excluding delivery costs and taxes, within 14 days of the safe receipt of items in the same condition as supplied. The liability for any damage incurred during transit will remain with the sender. We recommend that adequate insurance is placed on items when returning them to us.

All returns must be communicated prior to an item being sent back.

We extend these Return terms to our international clients.

Delivery Options

We will ship worldwide however the costs vary between countries so please email us for a quote. Depending on the item we will recommend the most suitable method.

Our preferred international shipping methods include fine art shippers Gander and White, Art Logistics, Cadogan Tate for items over £5,000. For Fedex, DHL or UPS shipments we expertly pack in-house in wooden crates or heavy duty cardboard – Suitable for most items under £5000. If you have your own shippers we are very happy to coordinate with them.

INSURANCE

All items are sent fully insured at the invoice value.

LOCAL TAXES

All items are inclusive of all local taxes but may be subject to additional charges for importation and taxes local to the client. Antiques are zero-rated to the USA, all items ship with the correct paperwork. While we are not liable for these additional charges we do encourage clients to research these prior to purchasing items from us. We will make a full value disclosure, as required by the insurance, on all items sent overseas. This is required to ensure proper insurance cover in sending valuable items.

EXPORT LICENCES & CITES

Where required we will oversee the completion of all export licenses for high-value items. We will also arrange for CITES paperwork for materials of endangered species including ivory, tortoiseshell, stuffed birds etc.

DELIVERY TIMES

This is dependent on the size and value of the object, all items are checked over and polished before shipping and will generally have wooden crates made. This all takes time so expect 10 – 20 working days for delivery unless the item is small in which case 2-3 days from order.

CUSTOMS

Every effort is made to make Customs Clearance as quick as possible, items held in customs are out of our control. They may require documents / ID to release the goods, please keep this in mind, it is just procedure.

INSURANCE VALUATION

All our antiques now also come with an invoice as a Valuation Certificate for insurance purposes.