5th Sep, 2023 10:00

Fine Interiors

  Lot 96


A Kerewa hardwood skull rack or 'agiba'

A Kerewa hardwood skull rack or 'agiba',
19th/20th century, Papua New Guinea, modelled as a polychrome-painted stylised figure, fragments of raffia hair remaining,
14cm wide
9.5cm deep
74cm high

Provenance: Private J H collection, Beaverton, Oregon, USA, acquired in May 2013;
Dieter Schnurr Tribal Arts, Cologne, Germany;
Gallery for Tribal Art, Australia;
Peter J Eddowes collection;
probably collected in the Southern Coastal Region, Papua New Guinea, c.1960s.

Mr Eddowes was stationed near Rabaul in East New Britain from 1961 onwards and was the Officer in Charge of Wood Utilisation and Marketing at the Papua New Guinea Forest Products Research Centre from 1965 to 1981. During his time in New Guinea, Mr Eddowes amassed a substantial collection of Gulf Art.

Agiba are the most important sacred objects to the Kerewa people. Displaying the human skulls of ancestors or victims, the racks were kept in houses to honour the spirits ('imunu') of the dead. The skulls were suspended on vertical hooks and tied on to the rack using loops of rattan or cane.

Take advantage of our Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.

Sold for £550

Condition Report
General light knocks and surface wear commensurate with age and use. Some light wear to painted decoration. Evidence of old woodworm, none appear active. Probable re-painting. Stands stable on a flat surface. Overall appears in good structural and cosmetic condition.



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Auction: Fine Interiors, 5th Sep, 2023

Including furniture and works of art from the 17th century to the present day, our Fine Interiors sales present fine traditional design alongside an eclectic selection of decorative arts from around the world, demonstrating how easy it is for antiques to be incorporated into the modern home.


London Viewing | Highlights

A selection of lots will be on view Thursday 10 - Tuesday 29 August at our London Gallery, 15 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ, as follows:

Monday-Friday, 11.30am - 5.30pm 

Saturday, 1pm - 5pm

Sunday - Closed

Monday 28 August - closed for the bank holiday

For more information, please contact 0203 971 2500 | london@sworder.co.uk 


Stansted Viewing | Auction

Viewing will be held at our Stansted Auction Rooms, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet CM24 8GE, as follows:

Friday 1 September, 10am - 5pm 

Saturday 2 September, 10am - 2pm 

Sunday 3 September, 10am - 2pm 

Monday 4 September, 10am - 5pm 

All lots are, however, extensively illustrated and carry detailed condition reports - see 'Condition report' at the foot of each lot description. 

The auction will take place at our Stansted Auction Rooms, Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet CM24 8GE. 

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