C 19 large Maori Superb Argillite or greywacke Patu onewa of perfect form & balance. Beautiful deep caramel . Superior carved hand grip section tapered to graceful blade form with finely defined striking leading edge. Traditional conformation; soft ringed, reke beehive knob finial & conical hourglass bored lanyard thong hole. Hand worked & sand polish evident, adding beauty and character. Presents as a very solid club belying the slim refined elegant silhouette. Supreme example of a Maori Master Carver of this argillite patu club form. Museum Quality.


Patu onewa Clubs of high degree are exceedingly respected family heirlooms , they gain considerable mana (respect & power) as they age, win battles and execute more captives & pass down through generations of senior custodians & chiefs. They were the main symbol of chieftainship and were extremely valuable to Maori.

Impossible & illegal to export out of NZ since Heritage Legislation 1930. He kohatu taka i te pari e kore e tae ate whakahokia. A stone fallen from the cliff can never be returned. Many varieties of stone have been used traditionally by Maori including onewa (greywacke/basalt), pakohe (slate) and tuhua (obsidian). The basalt patu were so much admired by Banks that he had bronze copies made with his own emblem to take with him as gifts on James Cook’s second voyage (Kaeppler 1978a: 190). Comparable clubs may be found in the Florence Collection (Giglioli 1893: 23f., figure in Kaeppler 1978b: 91), as well as in Stockholm (Söderström 1939: 49), Vienna (Moschner 1955: 143f.), and Cambridge (Shawcross 1970: 312) (see also Kaeppler 1978a: 191 for further examples). Markus Schindlbeck

MATERIAL:                          NZ Argillite or greywacke

DIMENSIONS:                     Length: 14.25 ins.(36 cm). x W.4 ins. x (10 cm.).

WEIGHT:                            2 lbs.  (.736 kg.).   

CONDITION:                       EXCELLENT DEEP RICH AGE Handling PATINA

PROVENANCE:                     OLD Palmer & Maori Family COLLECTION NZ. Fresh to Market Unseen Artifact.                     


Giglioli, Enrico H, Appunti intorno ad una collezione etnografica fatta durante it terzo viaggio di Cook, Florence, 1893.
Kaeppler, Adrienne L, ‘Artificial Curiosities’ Being An Exposition of Native Manufactures Collected on the Three Pacific Voyages of Captain James Cook RN [Exhibition catalogue], Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, 1978a.
Kaeppler, Adrienne L, Cook Voyage Artifacts in Leningrad, Berne and Florence Museums, Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, 1978b.
Moschner, Irmgard, ‘Die Wiener Cook-Sammlung, Südsee-Teil’, Archiv fur Völkerkunde, Vienna and Stuttgart, 1955, vol. 10, pp. 136-253.
Shawcross, Wilfred, ‘The Cambridge University collection of Maori artifacts, made on Captain Cook’s “first voyage”’, Journal of the Polynesian Society, 1970, vol. 79, no. 3, pp. 305-348.
Söderström, Jan, A. Sparrman’s Ethnographical Collection from James Cook’s 2nd Expedition (1772-75), New Series, Publication no. 6, The Ethnographical Museum of Sweden, Stockholm, 1939.

Maori Taonga

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Aboriginal, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Polynesian Islands, Maori & Oceanic Fine Tribal Art, Native Artefacts & Material Culture - Valuation, Appraisal, Sales and Purchase

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