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Rare 19th C. French Polynesian Wood Canoe Feast Dish

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Rare 19th C. French Polynesian Wood Canoe Feast Dish
Item Details
Description
Oceania, French Polynesia, probably the Austral Islands or Tahiti, ca. 19th century CE. An impressive feast dish known as an umete, skillfully hand-carved from a single piece of wood in the form of a canoe with a slightly rounded base and thick walls that taper to an ovoid rim above a shallow basin. The stern and bow of the fine vessel extend outwards, forming lengthy handles and allowing the dish to be easily carried. Umete were high status bowls used to serve food at communal feasts throughout Polynesia. Size: 30.2" L x 5.3" W x 2.5" H (76.7 cm x 13.5 cm x 6.4 cm)

According to the British Antique Dealers' Association, "The introduction of metal tools and nails helped and allowed this brief, but dramatic efflorescence in Austral carving. The profusely ornamented artefacts finding a ready market amongst the visitors to the Islands. Before the beginning of the 19th century much was left plain with subtle partly carved shapes as the wood was stone carved. W. Ellis in his 'Polynesian Researches' (1829II:181) states that dishes such as this example were used to rinse the hands before eating. Food was also served and eaten from wooden dishes of varying sizes each with a distinctive oval shape and with a raised projection on the rim at the wider end. So it is probable that these dishes were used for both purposes."

This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world's largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection, acquired 1995 to 2010

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.

#168181
Condition
Collection label on base. Expected nicks and abrasions, commensurate with age and use. Otherwise, intact and excellent with nice patina.
Buyer's Premium
  • 26.5%

Rare 19th C. French Polynesian Wood Canoe Feast Dish

Estimate $4,000 - $6,000
Dec 02, 2021
See Sold Price
Starting Price $2,000
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Artemis Gallery

Artemis Gallery

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0119B: Rare 19th C. French Polynesian Wood Canoe Feast Dish

Lot Passed
0 Bids
Est. $4,000 - $6,000Starting Price $2,000
Fine Antiquities | Asian | Ethnographic Art
Dec 02, 2021 10:00 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 26.5%

Lot 0119B Details

Description
...
Oceania, French Polynesia, probably the Austral Islands or Tahiti, ca. 19th century CE. An impressive feast dish known as an umete, skillfully hand-carved from a single piece of wood in the form of a canoe with a slightly rounded base and thick walls that taper to an ovoid rim above a shallow basin. The stern and bow of the fine vessel extend outwards, forming lengthy handles and allowing the dish to be easily carried. Umete were high status bowls used to serve food at communal feasts throughout Polynesia. Size: 30.2" L x 5.3" W x 2.5" H (76.7 cm x 13.5 cm x 6.4 cm)

According to the British Antique Dealers' Association, "The introduction of metal tools and nails helped and allowed this brief, but dramatic efflorescence in Austral carving. The profusely ornamented artefacts finding a ready market amongst the visitors to the Islands. Before the beginning of the 19th century much was left plain with subtle partly carved shapes as the wood was stone carved. W. Ellis in his 'Polynesian Researches' (1829II:181) states that dishes such as this example were used to rinse the hands before eating. Food was also served and eaten from wooden dishes of varying sizes each with a distinctive oval shape and with a raised projection on the rim at the wider end. So it is probable that these dishes were used for both purposes."

This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world's largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.

Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection, acquired 1995 to 2010

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.

#168181
Condition
...
Collection label on base. Expected nicks and abrasions, commensurate with age and use. Otherwise, intact and excellent with nice patina.

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