Ceremonial Paddle – Austral Islands

A classic Austral Islands paddle featuring the meticulous, mesmerizing surface carving for which these objects are renowned. Among the icons of Austral Islands art, the original purpose of ceremonial paddles is not clear, but they were likely used as dance wands. In the early nineteenth century, many were made as souvenirs for European travelers. This excellent example – with slender shaft, broad paddle, and intricately carved finial – bears the intensely dark patina of others in its class.

Austral Islands

Ex Galerie Franck Marcelin; ex private US collection

19th Century

L 43"
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